Settle for less
On Friday, Germany's Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $7.2 billion to settle a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit over dodgy mortgage-backed securities packaged and sold from 2005 to 2007. The settlement, which still needs final approval, includes $3.1 billion in fines and $4.1 billion in relief to consumers, primarily through modifying loans and providing other assistance to homeowners and borrowers. The settlement is a partial relief for Deutsche Bank, which had earlier said it might have to pay up to $14 billion to settle the civil charges. Also on Friday, Credit Suisse agreed to pay $5.3 billion in a similar settlement, and the Justice Department filed suit against Britain's Barclays Bank for allegedly misrepresenting the value of the loans it sold investors.
The mortgage-backed securities, much riskier than advertised, played a large role in the 2007-08 global financial meltdown. Other banks that have already settled with U.S. regulators include JPMorgan Chase ($13 billion), Bank of America ($16.7 billion), and Goldman Sachs ($5.1 billion).