Nomura Fined $480 Million to Settle Decade-Old Mortgage Charges

The settlement holds Nomura responsible for selling home loans that were packaged into securities and subsequently defaulted.

New York-based investment bank Nomura Holdings on Tuesday finalized an agreement to pay US authorities $480 million to settle claims that its affiliates misled investors with residential mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, the US Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

The civil fine is for alleged origination and sale of residential mortgage loans that the lender knew contained misstated income information and did not meet the extensive due diligence it represented. Wednesday’s agreement holds Nomura Securities, a New York located brokerage firm, responsible for selling thousands of loans that were packaged into securities and subsequently defaulted.

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Still, Nomura made no admission of liability as part of the settlement but said in a statement it was pleased to have reached an amicable deal that allows the bank to put this legacy matter behind it. Shares of the company also remained relatively unmoved, with investors having anticipated the Department of Justice settlement.

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Announcing the settlement, the U.S. Attorney said that home loans that the bank pooled into the securities did not meet underwriting guidelines and that it knew it was peddling investments that were likely to fail.

“This settlement holds Nomura accountable for its fraudulent conduct in connection with its residential mortgage-backed securities offerings, which caused substantial harm to investors and contributed to the financial crisis of 2008,” said Richard Donoghue, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Before the Nomura deal, US regulators had already fined several major banks more than $50 billion over their dealings in mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America Corp., which had the largest such settlement, agreed to pay $16.7 billion over its sale of toxic mortgage securities, split between cash and consumer relief.

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