Credit Suisse settles New York state RMBS lawsuit

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse has settled a 2012 New York state lawsuit alleging misconduct over residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), with a source familiar with the deal saying the bank would pay much less than prosecutors had originally sought.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at an office building in Zurich’s Oerlikon suburb, Switzerland July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The settlement, which was made last week, takes Credit Suisse a step closer to wrapping up an expensive chapter linked to the financial crisis a decade ago, although some civil claims remain unresolved.

“Credit Suisse is pleased to have settled this legacy case,” the bank said in a statement, confirming the deal, though not what it is paying in the pact with the New York State Attorney General’s office.

The source told Reuters on Monday the latest figure the Swiss bank must pay related to U.S. mortgage-backed securities is in the low, two-digit millions of dollars, confirming a weekend report in Swiss newspaper Ostschweiz am Sonntag.

In what had been an $11 billion complaint filed in November 2012, then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Credit Suisse of misrepresenting the quality of loans underlying mortgage-backed securities it sold in 2006 and 2007.

The New York AG’s office could not be reached for comment.

Credit Suisse shares were down 0.1 percent at 1145 GMT, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Banking Index was down 0.5 percent.

Schneiderman had contended Credit Suisse’s inappropriate marketing of defective bonds resulted in heavy investor losses when the global financial crisis struck.

In June 2018, however, New York State’s highest court limited the scope of the case, saying the claims were subject to a three-year statute of limitations, not six years as Schneiderman had wanted.

In a previous settlement of charges by the U.S. Department of Justice, Credit Suisse agreed to pay $5.3 billion in fines and consumer relief after the Zurich-based bank acknowledged home loans it pooled into the securities did not meet underwriting guidelines. The bank now says the total sum may come to half that. [reut.rs/2VzMkxO]

Numerous other banks have paid billions to resolve federal and state RMBS-related claims, including JP Morgan, Citi, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and UBS.

Last May, Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to pay $4.9 billion to settle a U.S. mortgages investigation. In March, it reached a $500 million settlement with New York.

Reporting by John Miller and Oliver Hirt; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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