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Barclays, Wachovia to pay US$378m to settle US mortgage claims

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British bank Barclays Plc and US bank Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo & Co , will pay a combined US$378 million to resolve claims over toxic mortgage-backed securities sold to now-failed credit unions, a US credit union regulator said on Monday.

[NEW YORK] British bank Barclays Plc and US bank Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo & Co , will pay a combined US$378 million to resolve claims over toxic mortgage-backed securities sold to now-failed credit unions, a US credit union regulator said on Monday.

Barclays will pay US$325 million and Wachovia will pay US$53 million, the National Credit Union Administration said. The companies are settling without admitting wrongdoing, the NCUA said.

Barclays said on Monday it will include a provision for the settlement in its third-quarter results. "We are pleased that this matter is resolved," Wells Fargo spokeswoman Elise Wilkinson said.

The NCUA said the settlements will bring to US$2.2 billion its total recoveries from various banks in litigation over faulty mortgage bonds sold to corporate credit unions. The agency, which regulates and supervises federal credit unions, has sued numerous banks to recover losses caused by the collapse of credit unions during the financial crisis.

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The agency had sued Barclays' US unit Barclays Capital in 2012, accusing it of making false statements in offering documents for mortgage-backed securities sold to US credit unions that later failed.

Mortgages backing the securities were much riskier than the offering documents stated, with a "material percentage" all but certain to become delinquent or default, the lawsuit said.

Wachovia was accused of similar practices in a 2011 lawsuit by the NCUA.

The lawsuits sought damages for violations of various state and federal securities laws.

Banks that have already paid big settlements include JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup and Bank of America Corp. The NCUA said it continues to pursue lawsuits against others, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley.

The agency said on Monday it also has litigation pending against securities firms over alleged manipulation of interest rates and for failing to perform their duties as trustees for residential mortgage-backed trusts.

REUTERS

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