UBS pays $50 million to settle mortgage claims
Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay nearly $50 million to settle charges over its disclosures related to a money-losing 2007 investment vehicle linked to sub-prime loans, a US agency announced on Tuesday.
The banking giant failed to disclose to investors $23.6 million it received in upfront payments raised as collateral in conjunction with the investment, known as a collateralized debt obligation, or CDO, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"UBS kept its $23.6 million that under the terms of the deal should have gone to the CDO for the benefit of its investors," George Canellos, co-director of the SEC's division of enforcement, said in a news release.
"In doing so, UBS misrepresented the nature of the CDO's collateral and rendered false the disclosures about how that collateral was acquired."
UBS presented inaccurate or incomplete information about the payments in marketing literature to investors and in submissions to the CDO's directors, the SEC said.
When the CDO was liquidated in 2007, outside investors lost approximately $130 million in the CDO, according to an SEC administrative order.
In the settlement, UBS agreed to pay about $50 million in disgorgement, interest and penalties. The bank did not admit or deny the SEC's findings.
The settlement is made up of the $23.6 million, UBS fees of $10.8 million, interest of $9.7 million and a fine of $5.7 million, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported.
In a statement UBS said it was happy the investigation had now been concluded and did not expect further SEC investigation of its activities in this area.