Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

UBS agrees to settle US housing claims

The sign for the UK headquarters of the Swiss banking group UBS

Story highlights

  • The Swiss lender is one of 18 banks against which the Federal Housing Finance Agency has filed cases
  • It seeks to recoup money owed to government-controlled housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • UBS -- Switzerland's biggest bank -- shares rose 1.4 per cent to €18.64 on Monday in early trading

UBS is facing a fine of more than SFr700 million ($745 million) to settle US claims relating to the alleged mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The Swiss lender is one of 18 banks against which the Federal Housing Finance Agency has filed cases, as it seeks to recoup money owed to government-controlled housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac following their near-collapse in 2008.

The FHFA alleged that UBS had misrepresented the quality of loans underlying around $6.4bn of residential-mortgage-backed securities in which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had invested between September 2005 and August 2007, according to court documents released in April.

According to previous regulatory disclosures by UBS, the FHFA had brought claims "for damages and rescission under federal and state securities laws and state common law and allege[d] losses of at least $1.2 billion plus interest."

UBS did not disclose the precise amount of the settlement, which is still subject to "documentation and final approvals" by both parties.

However, the bank said that it would take litigation provisions of SFr865 million in the second quarter, around SFr700 million of which relates to RMBS and other claims and would be booked in its non-core legacy portfolio.

UBS said that this provision and "litigation provisions established by UBS . . . in prior periods" would cover the fine, and would "encompass pending RMBS-related litigation brought by the FHFA against UBS on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as certain unasserted claims."

UBS shares rose 1.4 per cent to €18.64 on Monday in early trading.