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SEC v. Banca Della Svizzera Italiana

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
92 F.R.D. 111 (1981)


Facts

On March 10, 1981, Banca Della Svizzera Italiana (BSI) (defendant), a Swiss bank, purchased options for 105,500 shares of St. Joe Minerals Corporation (St. Joe) on behalf of several investors. It closed out the purchases of the options the following day, after St. Joe announced it had received a tender offer for its stock. This announcement caused St. Joe’s stock to increase in price dramatically. BSI sold its shares immediately at a profit of nearly $2 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (plaintiff) brought suit, alleging that insider trading had taken place, and BSI facilitated it in some way in violation of § 10(b) of the Exchange Act. During the discovery process, the SEC attempted to compel BSI to name the investors involved in the alleged insider trading, which BSI refused. BSI claimed that disclosing the names of the investors involved would be a violation of Swiss banking laws. The SEC then moved the court to compel BSI to provide the names of the investors.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pollack, J.)

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