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RBS Closes Mortgage Mis-Selling Probe With New York for $500M


The Royal Bank of Scotland plc RBS has agreed upon a settlement with the state of New York costing nearly $500 million. The deal comes in relation to deceptive marketing strategies it had conducted prior to the financial crisis.

The U.K. state-backed lender admitted to its wrongdoings in 2006 and 2007, which led to the crash in housing values in 2008. The bank misguided investors into believing that the residential mortgage-backed securities it sold were in proper compilation with the underwriting guidelines.

Royal Bank of Scotland is required to pay $100 million in cash while the remaining will be provided as consumer relief to the people who were impacted by the 2008 mishap.

Prior to this settlement, Royal Bank of Scotland had paid about $5.5 million to the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency in July 2017 over mortgage-backed securities.

CEO Ross McEwan said, “We have been very clear that putting our remaining legacy issues behind us is a key part of our strategy.”

However, a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that the bank had expected to enter in 2017 is still pending. Though the bank has kept aside $4.4 billion as provisions for legal settlements, the impending deal with the justice department is expected to be a much costly affair.

Royal Bank of Scotland comes sixth in the line to settle the New York regulator’s investigations into sales of residential mortgage-backed securities, pushing the recoveries to $3.7 billion. Before it, JPMorgan Chase & Co.JPM, Bank of America Corp. BAC, Citigroup C, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group have all settled claims. Among all, JPMorgan remains the highest penalty payer of about $1 billion.

Having reported profit for the first time in a decade, Royal Bank of Scotland remains committed to improve its performance. Also, the bank continues to make investments in technology in order to cope with changing customer preference. However, pending legal costs are likely to remain a major headwind in the near term.

Shares of Royal Bank of Scotland have gained 26.3% over the past year, outperforming 14.9% growth recorded by the industry.

The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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