Morgan Stanley sued by credit union regulator

ABANDONED GUIDELINES::The NCUA said US$566m of securities sold to failed credit unions ‘were significantly riskier than represented,’ and triggered an ongoing crisis


Sun, Sep 01, 2013 - Page 13

Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s largest brokerage, was sued by the federal credit union regulator over the sale of US$566 million in residential mortgage-backed securities to two credit unions that failed.

The bank and three units made misleading statements about the securities in offering documents, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said in the complaint filed on Aug. 16 in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas.

The agency announced the lawsuit yesterday, saying that it waited until all defendants were served.

Originators of the securities “systematically abandoned the stated underwriting guidelines in the offering documents,” the agency said in a statement yesterday. “The securities were significantly riskier than represented.”

NCUA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, previously sued securities firms run by banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and UBS AG over the MBS sales.

NCUA, which is responsible for covering losses to minimize costs to its industry-funded stabilization fund, said it has recovered US$335 million in settlements with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings PLC.

The agency is seeking to recoup from Morgan Stanley losses it claimed contributed to the 2010 liquidation of US Central Federal Credit Union, based in Lenexa, Kansas, and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, based in San Dimas, California, the complaint said.

“Firms like Morgan Stanley sold securities that turned out to be faulty, triggering a crisis in the credit union industry that has been extremely expensive to contain and repair, and credit unions are still paying the tab,” NCUA chairman Debbie Matz said in the agency’s statement.