Channel NewsAsia

Goldman Sachs to pay US$3.15b to settle mortgage case

Goldman Sachs will pay US$3.15 billion (S$3.94 billion) to resolve claims it misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on mortgage-linked securities it sold them before the US housing bust, officials said.

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs will pay US$3.15 billion (S$3.94 billion) to resolve claims it misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on mortgage-linked securities it sold them before the US housing bust, officials said on Friday (Aug 22).

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the conservator for Fannie and Freddie, which were rescued by the government during the 2008 crisis, said that Goldman will repurchase the securities it sold to the two effectively government-backed mortgage giants between 2005 and 2007.

Goldman said the agreement will resolve "all" federal and state securities claims for mortgage-backed securities purchased by Freddie and Fannie over the period.

"We are pleased to resolve these matters," said Gregory Palm, executive vice president of Goldman Sachs.

The FHFA, in its lawsuit against Goldman, accused the Wall Stree bank of "false statements" and "misleading omissions" on the underlying securities.

The FHFA said the Goldman settlement was worth US$1.2 billion. The US$1.2 billion is the difference between the US$3.15 billion paid by Goldman and the current value of the securities, a person familiar with the matter said.

The FHFA said it has now reached 16 settlements following a series of lawsuits filed against financial giants in 2011 over the sale of mortgage-linked securities that cratered after the housing bust.

The agency said it is still pursuing lawsuits against HSBC, Nomura and Royal Bank of Scotland in comparable cases.

The Goldman deal follows numerous other major US settlements with big banks following the 2008 financial crisis. Bank of America on Thursday agreed to pay US$16.65 billion to settle Justice Department and other authorities' charges that it misled investors about the quality of dodgy mortgage-linked securities.