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March 27, 2014

Banks pay out $100bn in US fines

“Wall Street banks and their foreign rivals have paid out $100bn in US legal settlements since the financial crisis, according to Financial Times research, with more than half of the penalties extracted in the past year.

“The sum reflects a substantial shift in political attitudes towards banks, as regulators and the Obama administration seek to counter perceptions that bankers have got off lightly for their role in the financial crisis.

“The milestone comes amid signs that banks’ legal costs could rise further, with a number of large banks still under investigation by the task force set up by Barack Obama in 2012 and the political backlash still under way.

“During stress tests last week, the Federal Reserve found that the biggest banks could still face a further $151bn bill for operational risk, repurchasing soured mortgage bonds and dealing with the falling value of buildings they own. Lawyers believe the bulk of this estimate is made up of expected litigation costs, suggesting the Fed is concerned that banks have misjudged badly their legal exposure.”

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Read full Financial Times article here.

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