Bank of America is in talks to pay at least $12bn in cash and homeowner relief to end a long-running civil investigation by the Department of Justice alleging that it mis-sold mortgage-backed securities, people familiar with the matter say.
The Charlotte-based bank paid $9.5bn to resolve a similar investigation by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the US housing regulator, in March.
BofA, which acquired Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis, has already paid over $25bn in fines and settlements since 2009, according to a FT analysis. The settlement would resolve the biggest known legal threat to the bank, which has been wracked by litigation since the financial crisis.
BofA has offered to pay at least $5bn of the $12bn in consumer relief to aid struggling homeowners, potentially by reducing outstanding mortgage debt, as part of the state-federal probe.
The story was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.
Including the FHFA settlement, BofA’s total penalty would exceed the $13bn deal struck by JPMorgan Chase last autumn to settle similar mortgage sales claims with the DoJ. At the time that was the largest settlement against a bank.
The DoJ has racked up penalties against financial institutions, with Credit Suisse paying $2.6bn in fines and pleading guilty over helping Americans evade paying taxes.
BofA said in March that it had been in negotiations with the DoJ to resolve the mortgage probe.
The bank declined to comment.
知情人士称，美国银行(Bank of America)可能将支付至少120亿美元——部分为现金，部分为向房屋所有者发放的救济——以和美国司法部(Department of Justice)达成一项和解。美国司法部此前指控美国银行违规销售抵押贷款支持证券，并对它展开了一项旷日持久的民事调查。
今年3月，总部位于夏洛特市的美国银行曾支付95亿美元，以了结美国住房监管机构——美国联邦住房金融局(Federal Housing Finance Agency)的一起类似调查。
根据英国《金融时报》所作的分析，自2009年以来，美国银行已支付逾250亿美元的罚款及和解金。此次和解将为它清除迄今面临的最大一个法律威胁。自此次金融危机以来，该银行一直饱受诉讼困扰。美国银行在此次金融危机期间收购了全国金融公司(Countrywide Financial)和美林(Merrill Lynch)。
这一消息最早由《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)报道。