Thursday, December 8, 2011

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Multistate Coalition Reaches $58.75 Million Settlement with Wachovia

AUSTIN Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and 25 other state attorneys general today reached a $58.75 million agreement with Wachovia Bank N.A. that will resolve the States’ antitrust investigation into the bank’s marketing of municipal derivatives.

Under the agreement, $54.5 million in restitution will be available to eligible governmental and nonprofit entities that entered into municipal derivative agreements with Wachovia between 1998 and 2004.

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Multistate settlement with Wachovia Bank N.A.

Qualifying governmental and nonprofit entities will be notified if they are eligible for restitution. To obtain the dollars available to them under the settlement, eligible entities must submit a claim and follow the process provided in the agreement. Texas-based entities are eligible for approximately $2.7 million in restitution from Wachovia.

The agreement negotiated by the multistate coalition addresses unlawful conduct that was investigated, in part, by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Internal Revenue Service. Under today’s agreement, Wachovia will also pay $3 million directly to the working group as an additional payment for investigative costs and fees and a $1.25 million civil penalty. Today’s agreement also requires Wachovia’s continued cooperation with the States’ ongoing investigation.

Texas played a lead role in the multistate effort, which included state attorneys general from Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Thus far, the multistate coalition has secured agreements with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wachovia Bank and Switzerland-based UBS AG totaling nearly $310 million to remedy anticompetitive conduct in the municipal derivatives market.