London-based HSBC Holdings agreed this week to pay $550 million to the Federal Housing Finance Agency to resolve allegations that it misrepresented the quality of mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to the financial crisis.
The lawsuit, FHFA v. HSBC North America Holdings, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York resolves allegations that HSBC Holdings misrepresented to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that loans underlying mortgage-backed securities sold from 2005 to 2007 complied with underwriting guidelines.
In resolving the lawsuit, HSBC will pay $374 million to Freddie Mac and $176 million to Fannie Mae. The bank, however, did not admit any liability or wrongdoing. “To the contrary, the HSBC defendants vigorously deny the allegations in the action,” the agreement states.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter,” Stuart Alderoty, general counsel for HSBC North America, said in a statement. To date, all principal and interest payments have been made on the securities related to the settlement.
The settlement marks the latest out of 18 total lawsuits FHFA filed in 2011 to recoup losses from mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other banks that have reached settlements with FHFA include Bank of America; Deutsche Bank; JP Morgan Chase; Morgan Stanley; Goldman Sachs, and more. Including the HSBC agreement, FHFA has recovered more than $18 billion in settlements.
Two lawsuits, with Nomura Holdings and Royal Bank of Scotland Group, remain pending. “FHFA continues to pursue a satisfactory resolution of these actions,” the agency stated.