The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced on Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with yet another global investment bank in connection with alleged violations in the marketing and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) in the years leading up to the global financial crisis.
On the heels of a US$7.2-billion settlement with Deutsche Bank AG announced on Tuesday, the DoJ reached a similar settlement with Credit Suisse AG, which has agreed to pay US$5.28 billion to settle allegations related to the firm’s conduct in the packaging, issuance, and sale of RMBS between 2005 and 2007.
Under the terms of the deal, Credit Suisse will pay a US$2.48 billion civil penalty and provide US$2.8 billion in various forms of relief to homeowners and distressed borrowers.
The agreed facts indicate that the firm made false and misleading representations to prospective investors about the characteristics of the mortgage loans it securitized.
“Today’s settlement underscores that the Department of Justice will hold accountable the institutions responsible for the financial crisis of 2008,” says U.S. attorney general, Loretta Lynch, in a statement. “Credit Suisse made false and irresponsible representations about residential mortgage-backed securities, which resulted in the loss of billions of dollars of wealth and took a painful toll on the lives of ordinary Americans.”
Credit Suisse also agreed to co-operate fully with any ongoing investigations related to the conduct covered by the agreement. The settlement preserves the government’s ability to bring criminal charges against Credit Suisse or any of its employees.
Credit Suisse announced that it will take a pre-tax charge of approximately US$2 billion in its fourth quarter financial results on Feb. 14 in addition to its existing reserves of US$550 million against this matter.
The bank also said that it is “pleased to have reached an amicable settlement that allows the bank to put this legacy matter behind it, while also protecting the interests of its clients, employees and other stakeholders. We remain relentlessly focused on serving our clients and continuing our progress toward our strategic goals of being a resilient, profitable and compliant organization.”