Articles Posted in Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

$165M Class Action Settlement Reached in MBS Fraud Case Involving NovaStar Securities
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Deutsche Bank AG (DB) have reached a $165M with investors in their class action mortgage-backed securities case involving underwriting for NovaStar Mortgage Inc., a former subprime lender. The lead plaintiff in the case is the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund.

NovaStar, which filed for bankruptcy last year, had specialized in low quality residential mortgages. Many of these were bundled into risky securities that were issued prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The class action settlement resolves claims contending that the offering documents put together by the banks misled investors into thinking that the loans underlying about $7.55B of NovaStar MBSs were safe and had been underwritten properly.

A district court judge must still approve the settlement. Meantime, despite the resolution, the banks continue to deny wrongdoing.
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HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBC) will pay $35M to resolve an antitrust lawsuit accusing the bank of Euroyen Tibor and Yen Libor rigging. The securities case, brought by Sonterra Capital Master Fund, Hayman Capital Management, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, lead plaintiff Jeffrey Laydon, and other institutional investors, accused HSBC and other banks of manipulating benchmark rates over several years.
According to the investor lawsuit, Laydon sustained losses in the thousands of dollars in 2007 when shorting the Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (Euroyen Tibor).

As part of the settlement, HSBC will provide attorney proffers detailing facts that the bank uncovered during its own probes into Euroyen Tibor and Euroyen Libor manipulation, witness statements made by its employees, specific documents that it has given to the Federal Reserve Board of New York and regulators, and other information.

A judge has to approve the deal.

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BNY Mellon to Pay Massachusetts $3M Over Computer Problem That Impacted Mutual Funds

Bank of New York Mellon (BK) will pay $3 million to the state of Massachusetts to resolve a probe that found that a computer glitch did not calculate net asset values for over 1,000 mutual funds. Although the bank hired SunGard InvestOne to calculate these values, there was one-weekend last year when a malfunction occurred.

The Massachusetts Securities Division conducted an investigation and discovered that BNY Mellon lacked a back-up plan to deal with such a malfunction. Because of this, non-uniform and untimely information was sent to clients and funds. As Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin noted, it is the job of financial institutions like BNY Mellon to oversee third-party vendors and put into place a back-up plan in the event a vendor’s system fails. The bank says that in the wake of the outage, it took action to protect client interests and ensure that the daily net asset values were issued.

BNY Mellon said that it has since made investors and the funds that sustained losses because of the computer error whole. The bank has made changes to supervisory procedures.

WedBush to Pay $675K Fine to Nasdaq and FINRA over Trading and Clearing Errors Involving Exchange-Traded Funds

Wedbush Securities Inc. will pay a $675K fine to the Nasdaq Stock Market and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. over clearing and trading mistakes involving redemption and trading activities related to leveraged ETFs. Wedbush served as Scout Trading, LLC’s clearing firm.

According to FINRA, from 1/10 to 2/12, Scout Trading was not long enough in the shares that made up the redemption orders. Scott Trading turned in more than 250 naked redemption orders via Wedbush. These involved nearly a dozen ETFS that totalled over 295 million shares. This activity and ETF short-selling on the second market by Scout Trading led to Wedbush’s failure to deliver on a number of occasions. (This could have led to a naked short sale in which the seller does not arrange to borrow the securities in a manner timely enough for the buyer to receive the delivery within the standard three days.)

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U.S. District Judge Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan says that Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) must face a residential mortgage-backed securities fraud lawsuit holding the bank liable for $1.12B of investor losses. Royal Park Investments SA/NV, which is a Belgian investment fund, may now proceed with its claims, including those alleging breach of trust, breach of contract, and Federal Trust Indenture Act violations.

In its case against BNY Mellon, Royal Park wants class action status for other investors. It claims that its RMBS in the trusts at issue are now “”completely worthless.”

The investment fund contends that BNY Mellon, in its role of trustee for five trusts, disregarded the abuse occurring in the way the underlying loans were serviced and underwritten and did not mandate that bad loans be bought back. Royal Park believes that BNY Mellon breached its obligations out of fear it would lose business or make other financial service companies angry.

Over the past year, the investment fund has been allowed to pursue similar cases against HSBC Holdings Plc. (HSBC) And Deutsche Bank AG (DB). In the investment fund’s case against Deutsche Bank. U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan in New York recently denied the bank’s bid to get the proposed class action over $3.1B in RMBS losses dismissed. She did, however, dismiss derivative claims. Royal Park claims that Deutsche Bank knew by April 2011 that loans involved were highly defective but refused to force loan sellers to buy back the loans or replace them when it became clear that the mortgages backing the bonds were defaulting. Nathan also said that the plaintiffs detailed claims of significant losses, high default rates, and widespread probes into RMBS securitization were sufficient that the court was able to draw “reasonable inference” that loan guarantees had been breached.

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Commerzbank is suing Wells Fargo (WFC) for losses sustained on failed mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The German finance firm claims the California lending giant did not properly supervise MBS during the housing bubble, which Commerzbank argues, led to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

Commerzbank alleges that Wells Fargo caused it over $100 million in losses because of Wells Fargo’s purported lack of action. The German firm invested over $290 million in MBSs and Wells Fargo was the trustee of 19 of the MBSs. A lot of the securities were backed by mortgages from subprime lender Option One.

The German bank believes that Wells Fargo and other trustees should have ensured that the loans backing the securities satisfied certain standards, notified investors when loans defaulted, and forced mortgage lenders to compensate investors for the poor quality loans. Instead, Wells Fargo did not do any of these actions.

SEC Seeks to Limit JP Morgan’s Ability to Raise Client Money
An Over $200K settlement between J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and regulators has stalled because of efforts by federal regulators to limit the firm’s ability to raise money for clients. The move is an attempt to place a wider variety of consequences on financial firms accused of breaking regulations.

J.P. Morgan had settled allegations accusing it of failing to make proper disclosures when marketing its investment products to clients over the products offered by competitors. Now, the SEC wants the firm to say yes to limits on its ability to sell bonds or stocks through private placements for several years. Such a restriction could hamper its private bank’s efforts to raise funds for hedge funds and other clients through a key channel or sell bonds or stocks privately to rich investors and other sophisticated investors.

While banks are allowed to conduct private placement offerings, firms that violate the rules that these securities are under will lose privilege unless they are given a waiver.

Lawsuit Accuses Intel of Investing 401K Monies Improperly
An ex-Intel Corp. employee is suing company officials for breach of fiduciary duty. According to Christopher M. Sulyma, the company invested defined 401K participants’ retirement funds in high risk, costly private equity funds and hedge funds.

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is suing Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK), Citigroup (C), and US Bancorp (USB) for residential mortgage-backed securities that were purchased by the former Guaranty Bank.

The Texas-based bank closed shop in 2009 and the FDIC, which is its receiver, arranged for its deposits to be taken on by BBVA Compass, a U.S. unit of Spanish institution Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA.MC). The regulator estimated that the shutdown would cost its deposit insurance fund $3 billion.

The 12 mortgage-backed trusts involved in this RMBS lawsuit were issued by Countrywide Home Loans and Bear Stearns Cos’ (BSC) EMC Mortgage Corp unit. In 2008, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM.N) purchased Bear Stearns while Bank of America Corp. (BAC) purchased Countrywide.

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Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) has agreed to pay $714 million to settle claims that it bilked pension funds and others by overcharging for currency transactions. The settlements resolve cases by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, as well as both private cases and probes by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The lawsuits involve the bank’s “standing instruction” for its foreign exchange program: Clients are supposed to let the bank unilaterally deal with foreign-exchange transactions.

The bank admitted that it notified certain clients that it was determined to obtain them the best rates possible even as the firm gave them the ones that were among the worst interbank rates. The bank had previously denied the claims because the lawsuits were submitted in 2011, not agreeing until the following year to modify pricing disclosures. In February, Bank of New York Mellon said it would modify 4tth quarter results to make room for a $598 million litigation cost as it was getting ready to resolve certain claims, including those involving foreign exchange.

Pacific Investment Management Co. and BlackRock Inc. (BLK) are leading a group of investors, including Charles Schwab Co. (SCHW), Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU), DZ Bank AG, and Aegon in suing trust banks for losses they sustained related to over 2,000 mortgage bonds that were issued between 2004 and 2008. Defendants include units of US Bancorp (USB), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Wells Fargo (WFC), HSBC Holdings (HSBA.LN), Citigroup (C), and Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK).

The investors are accusing the banks of breaching their duty as trustee when they did not force bond issuers and lenders to buy back loans that did not meet the standards that buyers were told the bonds possessed. It is a trustee’s job to make sure that principal payments and interest go to bond investors. They also need to make sure that mortgage servicing firms are abiding by the rules that oversee defective loans or homeowner defaults.

Trustees, however, have said that their duties are restricted to tasks like supervising the way payments are made to investors and giving regular reports about bond servicing. They disagree about having a wider oversight duty to fulfill.

American International Group (AIG) and Maiden Lane II dismissing lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York regarding the $182.3 billion financial bailout that the insurer received during the 2008 economic crisis. In dispute was whether AIG still had the right to pursue a lawsuit over residential mortgage-backed securities losses and if the company had moved $18 billion of litigation claims to Maiden Lane, which is a New York Fed-created entity.

An AIG spokesperson said that in the wake of a recent ruling by a district judge in California that the company did not assign $7.3 billion of the claims to Maiden Lane, both are dropping their action without prejudice. This means that AIG can now pursue Bank of America (BAC) for these claims, which is what the insurer wants to do.

Bank of America had said that AIG could not sue it over the allegedly fraudulent MBS because the latter transferred that right when the New York Fed bought the instruments in question 2008. However, according to Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer, even if the New York Fed meant for Maiden Lane II to have these claims, that intention was not made clear.

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