In an interview with Reuters, Holder would not say which companies
or how many could face lawsuits but said the Justice Department was
in contact with them and it was hard to say whether the talks would
lead to settlements.
"We have a number of investigations that are coming to a head at the
same time," he said. "It is my hope that the next round of these
cases will be filed soon after the new year."
JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank, agreed last month to pay $13
billion to end a series of government investigations into its
marketing and sale of mortgage-backed securities.
That settlement included a $2 billion penalty to resolve civil fraud
claims from the Justice Department and an acknowledgement from
JPMorgan of problems in the securities it sold in the run-up to the
It also included $4 billion in help to consumers and did not cover
an open criminal investigation into the conduct.
Holder said the government would seek similar elements in any future
"Those four things I think comprise what we think of as a template
for the resolution of these other matters as they're brought," he
The cases stem from a government task force the Obama administration
created in early 2012 to probe the packaging and sale of shoddy home
loans. At the time, the department sent subpoenas to more than a
dozen financial institutions and warned of action.
Other institutions including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and
Goldman Sachs Group Inc have disclosed related investigations and
could face future lawsuits.
Bank of America is already contesting a lawsuit the Justice
Department filed earlier this year over its mortgage securities, but
expects more cases.
[to top of second column]
In October it disclosed that staff at a U.S. Attorney's office
intended to recommend a civil suit against Bank of America
affiliates over mortgage securities. The bank also said staff at the
New York Attorney General's office, which is part of the task force,
planned to recommend action against Merrill Lynch, which the bank
acquired in 2008.
Citigroup in November said it continues to respond to subpoenas
and other requests for information about its mortgage securities
from authorities including the Justice Department's civil division.
Goldman Sachs in its latest quarterly report said future claims from
the task force could result in a "significant increase" in the
company's liabilities. It said it continues to receive requests for
information from members of the group.
Another bank, Credit Suisse, faced one of the first lawsuits
stemming from the task force, filed by New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman last November.
Representatives of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman and Credit
Suisse either declined comment or did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
Holder said he was meeting with the head of the task force and its
leaders on a weekly basis, including on Tuesday this week.
[By David Ingram and Aruna
© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All
(Additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; editing by Howard Goller
and Matthew Lewis)
Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
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