Ponying Up: How Much Have Big Banks Been Docked for the Financial Crisis?

Ponying Up: How Much Have Big Banks Been Docked for the Financial Crisis?

By Cora Currier, ProPublica

Nearly four years after the financial crisis, settlements with the big players on Wall Street keep coming out, one after the other. It can be hard to keep track of it all. So who’s been hit, with what, and for how much in total?

We put together a chart of notable settlements reached between big banks and the government—namely, the SEC and the Department of Justice—over charges stemming from the crisis. In the case of the SEC settlements we list here, the firms neither admitted nor denied the charges when agreeing to the terms of the settlement. (The SEC’s habit of letting banks sidestep the question of culpability has been widely criticized.)

Overall, the SEC says it has brought in almost $2 billion in penalties as well as money for investors from settlements related to the crisis, and the Department of Justice lists dozens of criminal cases it has brought against smaller players. And the investigating isn’t over yet. The SEC recently sent notices of possible charges to JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo, and the DOJ reportedly has issued subpoenas to eleven financial institutions related to mortgage securities.

Date Agency Settlement Amount Details Where Did the Money Go?
Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) $310,000,000
Feb. 9, 2012 DOJ and States’ Attorney Generals $310,000,000 Part of an agreement between the DOJ, 49 states, and five of the country’s biggest banks over robo-signing and other abuses related to mortgage servicing. Part of the settlement comprised fines to state and federal governments, while the rest will go to programs aimed at helping homeowners refinance or write-down their loans. A small portion will go to direct payments to homeowners. $110 million in penalties to federal and state governments. $200 million in homeowner relief programs.
American Home Mortgage $2,450,000
April 28, 2009 SEC $2,450,000 Three executives at American Home Mortgage, which filed for bankruptcy in 2007, were charged with misleading auditors and investors about the state of the company’s finances and the bad loans they had taken on. The former CEO, Michael Strauss, settled for $2.45 million and a 5-year ban on serving as officer of a public company. Read the SEC’s complaint. Penalties and disgorgement.
Bank of America $11,970,000,000
Feb. 4, 2010 SEC $150,000,000 Bank of America was charged with misleading investors about the financial troubles — and extraordinary bonuses — at Merrill Lynch at the time that Bank of America acquired the company. Read the judge’s opinion on the settlement. Distributed to affected shareholders.
Feb. 9, 2012 DOJ $11,820,000,000 Part of the big mortgage-servicing abuse settlement. Included in Bank of America’s total is a $1 billion payment to the Federal Housing Authority to settle charges that it sent them shoddy loans to insure. $3.24 billion in penalties to federal and state governments, including $1 billion to the FHA. $8.58 billion in homeowner relief programs.
Bear Stearns $1,000,000
Feb. 13, 2012 SEC $1,000,000 Two Bear Stearns execs, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, were hit with civil charges alleging that they committed fraud by negligence before Bear Stearns crashed over bad mortgage-related investments in 2008. Both executives will be banned from the securities industry for a few years. Cioffi and Tannin were cleared in 2009 of criminal charges related to Bear Stearn’s crash. Penalty to the Treasury. The judge in charge of approving the settlement said that he considered the fine “chump change,” but is inclined to approve it.
Charles Schwab $118,000,000
Jan. 11, 2011 SEC $118,000,000 Charles Schwab was charged with misrepresenting the riskiness of one of its mutual funds, which was heavy on mortgage-backed securities and other high-risk assets. Read the SEC’s complaint. Distributed to affected investors.
Citigroup $2,696,000,000
July 29, 2010 SEC $75,000,000 Citigroup was charged with underreporting its exposure to subprime mortgage assets by billions of dollars. Two executives were also fined $100,000 and $80,000, respectively. Read the SEC’s order against the execs. Read the SEC’s complaint. Penalties and disgorgement.
Oct. 19, 2011 SEC $258,000,000 Citi was charged with misleading investors over a $1 billion CDO called Class V Funding III, which it structured while taking a position wherein Citi would benefit if the CDO defaulted–seemingly aligning itself against the interests of its investors. One employee in charge of structuring the CDO was also fined. Read the SEC’s complaint. The money would be distributed to affected investors, but a judge has refused to sign the order, claiming it is not fair or in the public interest. The SEC is appealing his decision.
Feb. 9, 2012 DOJ and States’ Attorney Generals $2,205,000,000 Part of the big mortgage-servicing abuse settlement. $415 million in penalties to federal and state governments. $1.79 billion in homeowner relief programs.
Feb. 15, 2012 DOJ $158,000,000 Citibank was charged with passing on bad loans to the Federal Housing Authority to insure, in a whistleblower case that alleged Citi actively undermined the process that was suppose to check for fraudulent or risky loans. Read the settlement. $30 million goes to the whistleblower. The rest goes to the FHA.
Countrywide (Bank of America) $87,500,000
Oct. 15, 2010 SEC $67,500,000 Three former executives of Countrywide Financial, which was bought by Bank of America in 2008, were charged with insider trading and misleading investors about subprime mortgage risks. Countrywide’s former CEO, Angelo Mozilo, was hit with the bulk of the penalties and was permanently barred from serving as officer of a public company. Another executive got a $5 million fine. Distributed to affected investors.
May 26, 2011 DOJ $20,000,000 Countrywide was charged with illegally foreclosing on 160 members of the military without court orders, violating a federal law meant to protect servicemembers’ finances. Distributed to victims of wrongful foreclosure.
Goldman Sachs $550,000,000
July 15, 2010 SEC $550,000,000 Goldman was charged with misleading investors over a subprime CDO called Abacus 2007-AC1. Goldman did not tell investors that the hedge fund Paulson & Co. was involved in the creation of Abacus and placing bets against it. Read Goldman’s consent to the settlement. Read the proposed judgment on the settlement. $300 million to the Treasury. $250 million to affected investors.
JP Morgan $5,443,000,000
June 21, 2011 SEC $153,000,000 JP Morgan was charged with fraud over its handling of the CDO called Squared. The company failed to disclose to investors that the hedge-fund Magnetar had been involved in the creation of the CDO, while it stood to benefit if Squared defaulted. Read the SEC’s complaint. More than $125 million distributed to affected investors. $27 million to Treasury.
Feb. 9, 2012 DOJ and States’ Attorney Generals $5,290,000,000 Part of the big mortgage-servicing abuse settlement. $1.08 billion in penalties to state and local governments. $4.21 billion in homeowner relief programs.
Merrill Lynch $10,000,000
Jan. 25, 2011 SEC $10,000,000 Merrill Lynch was charged with using customer information to make trades for its own benefit, and charging unfair mark-ups. Penalty to the Treasury.
Morgan Keegan (Regions Bank) $200,000,000
June 22, 2011 SEC $200,000,000 The investment arm of Regions Bank, Morgan Keegan, was charged with fraud over mispricing and misrepresenting its subprime mortgage backed securities. Two executives were also slapped with $100,000 and $50,000 fines. Read the SEC’s order. Distributed to affected investors.
State Street $300,000,000
Feb. 4, 2010 SEC $300,000,000 The Boston-based financial firm was charged with misleading investors about its exposure to subprime mortgage risk, while disclosing more complete information to particular investors. Read the SEC’s order. $50 million to the Treasury. $250 to affected investors.
TD Ameritrade $10,000,000
Feb. 3, 2011 SEC $10,000,000 TD Ameritrade was charged with misleading investors about a money market fund that was supposed to be a safe bet, but which tanked in 2008. Read the SEC’s order. Distributed to affected investors.
Wachovia (Wells Fargo) $11,000,000
April 5, 2011 SEC $11,000,000 Wachovia was charged with marking up the cost of a struggling CDO for investors, among them the Zuni Indian Tribe. (Wells Fargo bought Wachovia in 2008.) Read the SEC’s order. $7.3 million distributed to affected investors.
Wells Fargo $4,350,000,000
Feb. 9, 2012 DOJ and States’ Attorney Generals $4,350,000,000 Part of the big mortgage-servicing abuse settlement. $1.01 billion in penalties to state and local governments. $3.34 billion in homeowner relief programs.
Comments
3 Responses to “Ponying Up: How Much Have Big Banks Been Docked for the Financial Crisis?”
  1. To Tell The Truth says:

    I do not see where they are told they cannot use the same old robo docs for new foreclosures acts….so they believe they can get away with this since and due to this agreement….

  2. Ali says:

    Home Bowwowers ignored once again!!!!!!!! Occupy the courts! With all that we now know, it’t time to file lawsuit after lawsuit, after lawsuit…………………Stpo defrauding the the real owner’s of their real property rights NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  3. leapfrog says:

    GAO audit 16 trillion, ZIRP, TARP, QE, Fannie/Freddie backdoor bailouts to TBTF – Banks have not paid a cent, thanks to all these corporate welfare programs, courtesy of Helicopter Ben and Turbo Tax Timmy. Instead, Too Big To Fail has profited and hoarded cash.

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