Law360, New York (October 26, 2016, 2:55 PM EDT) — Bondholders suing major banks for allegedly conspiring to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate told a Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday that they have settled with UBS AG and Barclays Bank PLC.
UBS has reached a settlement with bondholders over Libor-rigging claims. (Credit: AP) The bondholders, whose claims against the banks were resurrected by the Second Circuit in May, told U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald that they have reached a settlement with UBS and are finalizing one with Barclays over claims that the banks engaged…
Part 2 by David Dayen
A self-appointed stock sleuth finds financial giants trading extensively in little penny stocks like the one he owned that tanked. And he learns something amazing: Some brokers can sell shares that don’t actually exist.
CHRIS DIIORIO HAD lost a million dollars when the penny stock he was betting on shed 98 percent of its value in a matter of weeks. But when he looked deeper, he found this wasn’t a typical penny stock pump-and-dump scheme. He was determined to get to the bottom of it.
For one thing, there were two huge companies involved.
UBS, one of the world’s largest private banks, seemed to have no business trading in penny stocks. “This was a $50 billion-plus bank, it didn’t seem like penny stocks would move the needle,” DiIorio said. But just in December 2011, UBS’s trades in 32 penny stocks represented over half of the firm’s total share volume, according to his calculations.
In a one-line response to a series of detailed questions from The Intercept, UBS media relations director Peter Stack wrote in an email: “UBS applies strict due diligence and anti-money-laundering standards to all its business.”
After some research, DiIorio became even more disturbed by the presence of the other company, Knight Capital, which has traded an average of more than 2 billion shares of penny stocks daily for the past three years.
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MANHATTAN (CN) — This past spring, UBS faced a trial over $2 billion in investor damages related to the 2008 housing crisis, but an order issued Tuesday clears a path for a smaller penalty.
Three trusts represented by U.S. Bancorp have spent for four years trying to hold the Zurich-based UBS liable for breaching warranties on over 12,000 of approximately 17,000 mortgage loans originally pooled.
On the road to trial, the trusts dropped their estimates to more than 9,800 loans that they claimed to be defective, and the case finally went to a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel from April 18 to May 13 this year.
Four UBS managers and traders took the stand along with one of the trust’s executives and experts from both parties. The banks and trustees also submitted two terabytes of data — including thousands of loan files — for the court’s review.
After digesting the enormous record over the summer, Castel issued a 239-page ruling clearing the bank of turning a blind eye toward the loans’ deficiencies.
“The trusts have not established that UBS was willfully blind to widespread breaches of warranties across the loans in the three trusts,” he wrote.
UBS manager Jonathan Lantz testified that the bank had “ceased its surveillance operations around the same time that it wound down its business of structuring and selling [residential mortgage-backed securities] pools,” according to the ruling.
But Castel also found that UBS would have to repurchase or pay damages for 13 out of 20 loans that he examined, described in the ruling as “exemplar loans.”
Thousands of other loans still need to be reviewed.
The London trader who years ago hobbled Swiss investment bank UBS by racking up some $2 billion in losses told the BBC in an interview posted on Monday that not much has changed since he was jailed in 2012, and that the kind of crime he committed could “absolutely” happen again.
“I think the young people I’ve spoken to, former colleagues I have spoken to, are still struggling with the same issues, the same conflicts, the same pressures to achieve no matter what,” he said. “And this goes back to the structure of the industry. People are required to take risk to generate profit, because yields in the industry are consistently compressed.”
A year after being released from prison, Kweku Adoboli also said there’s an increasing likelihood of another trader going rogue to such a degree as we enter “the next phase of the great financial crisis” over the next couple of years.
Swiss bank UBS, along with several of its former executives, is to face legal action for encouraging tax fraud that could cost it five billion euros, if judges accept a public prosecutor’s …
France’s financial crimes prosecutors’ office has recommended that UBS AG, UBS France and a half dozen former company executives should face trial for “aggravated money-laundering for tax fraud” and/or “illicit banking procedures”, Le Mondenewspaper reported Friday.
If Judge Guillaume Daïeff accepts the recommendation, they could face fines of five billion euros, since the penalty can be up to half of the value of the money laundered and investigators estimate that to be at least 10 billion euros between 2004 and 2012, the paper says.
Solicited tax-dodgers’ custom
UBS has denied the allegations but in June one of the accused, the former number two at UBS France Patrick de Fayet, reportedly wrote to prosecutors accepting he was guilty of illicit banking procedures.
The prosecutors’ 126-page report says that UBS solicited the custom of tens of thousands of French taxpayers, most of them very wealthy, to help them dodge French tax.
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Law360, New York (May 13, 2016, 8:00 PM ET) — A New York federal judge said Friday he is wrestling to come up with the best method for ruling on trustee U.S. Bank’s contract claims against UBS AG over $2 billion in bundled home loans as a three-week bench trial featuring 39,000 separate allegations of breach flowing from 8,000 allegedly defective mortgages wrapped.
U.S. Bank’s attorney pressed the judge to order UBS to pay for a swath of allegedly defective loans. (Credit: AP) U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel stressed again during a daylong closing session…