Today CNN reported Bank of America will pay $8.5 billion to investors who experienced losses from fraudulent mortgage securities. The securities, which represented an interest in pools of home mortgages, were sold to investors as highly rated investments. However, they collapsed along with the housing market. Investors later discovered that many of the supposedly highly rated mortgage pools, actually contained subprime or mortgages to borrowers with suspect credit.
This is the latest but likely not the last instance of a bank or brokerage agreeing to pay restitution and fines associated with misrepresented subprime debt. Just last week, regional brokerage Morgan Keegan announced it would pay $200 million to settle regulatory actions brought by the SEC, FINRA and five state securities commissions.