NEW YORK (Reuters) – British bank Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and U.S. bank Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), will pay a combined $378 million to resolve claims over toxic mortgage-backed securities sold to now-failed credit unions, a U.S. credit union regulator said on Monday.
Barclays will pay $325 million and Wachovia will pay $53 million, the National Credit Union Administration said. The companies are settling without admitting wrongdoing, the NCUA said.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A unit of Australia’s Macquarie Group has agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle shareholder allegations that it underwrote a securities offering for Puda Coal without disclosing that the Chinese mining company was an empty shell.
Filed in 2011, the securities fraud lawsuit said Macquarie Capital USA helped sell $108 million of shares for then-New York Stock Exchange-listed Puda Coal in 2010 while knowing that the company’s main coal business had been transferred to its chairman and then sold or pledged as collateral to an investment fund.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Los Angeles has dropped a lawsuit
accusing Citigroup of discriminatory mortgage lending,
marking the second time a major bank has escaped claims that it
steered the city’s minorities into high-cost loans and led to
foreclosures and neighborhood blight.
In a court filing on Wednesday, Los Angeles and the bank
agreed to dismiss the case but did not indicate the reasons. Los
Angeles dropped a similar lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase
last month. It still has cases pending against Bank of America
and Wells Fargo in a federal appeals court.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fourteen advocacy groups have asked U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White to disqualify herself from selecting the government’s top audit regulatory official, saying she has a potential conflict of interest involving her husband.
In a letter on Thursday, groups including MoveOn.org, Public Citizens and the Center for Effective Government said a decision on who will head the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board creates at least the appearance of a conflict because her husband John White, a partner with law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, serves on a PCAOB advisory group.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The City of Oakland, California has sued Wells Fargo & Co, accusing the largest U.S. mortgage lender of steering minorities into high-cost mortgage loans that allegedly led to foreclosures, abandoned properties and neighborhood blight.
The complaint is a sign that U.S. municipalities are not relenting in a push to hold big banks liable for economic damages following the 2007 foreclosure crisis.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A controversy is heating up over the naming of the government’s top audit regulatory official, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission considers a replacement for an incumbent who is backed by investor advocates.
The choice of a leader for the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) will help decide the fate of reforms backed by the current chairman, James Doty, a lawyer who has raised the ire of businesses and Big Four accounting firms.
By Dena Aubin
(Reuters) – Los Angeles has dropped a lawsuit accusing
JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, of discriminatory
mortgage lending, ending the first of the city’s four lawsuits
accusing major banks of driving up foreclosures among minority
Disclosed in a filing on Tuesday in a California federal
court, the agreement ends a lawsuit attempting to hold the bank
liable for lost property tax revenues caused by falling home
values and the cost of repairing blight in minority
neighborhoods hit by foreclosures.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday released unprecedented guidance on a section of business antitrust law that bars “unfair competition,” but stopped well short of offering the level of detail long sought by businesses.
Saying its enforcement practices would not change, the agency released remarks by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez that said it would be guided by consumer welfare concerns.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez was expected to unveil a policy statement as soon as Thursday on how the antitrust agency will pursue companies over unfair competition, sources close to the matter said.
Expected in a speech Ramirez will deliver in Washington, the policy would be the FTC’s first attempt to clarify a part of the 1914 law that created the commission and empowered it to pursue businesses for “unfair methods of competition.”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – When it comes to hiring accountants, U.S. public companies tend to favor people who show a willingness to flatter corporate profits by massaging the numbers, researchers have found.
In a study that suggests fighting corporate number-fudging is not just a matter of tweaking a few rules, accounting experts at the University of South Carolina said they surveyed 41 executive recruiters and 57 finance and accounting executives.