“A multibillion-dollar settlement between J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and the U.S. over soured mortgage bonds is at risk of collapsing because of disagreements related to a criminal probe of the bank and its effort to get penalties reimbursed by a government-controlled fund, according to people familiar with the discussions.
“A draft agreement offered by the bank Sunday night has divided the two sides, raising new questions about the ability to finalize what would be a record-setting pact, according to people familiar with the talks.
“Lawyers for the bank and the government continued talking Tuesday, and a deal still could be reached, these people said. A key sticking point is whether J.P. Morgan or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. bears ultimate responsibility for liabilities linked to Seattle thrift Washington Mutual Inc., said people close to the talks. J.P. Morgan acquired the banking operations of Washington Mutual during the financial crisis.”
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