Investors request “shroud of secrecy” lifted in BofA’s $8.5 B settlement

Despite transparency request, some investors still object to the proposed settlement

Another page was written in the epic drama surrounding Bank of America Corp. (BofA) and its seemingly endless legal trouble this year.

A lawyer representing American International Group Inc. (AIG) told U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley in New York Wednesday that investors want the “shroud of secrecy” lifted over the proposed $8.5 billion settlement of BofA’s mortgage-backed securities liability stemming from bad loans sold by Countrywide Financial Corp., which BofA bought in 2008.

"We want to come back to you and ask you to find it's not confidential," Dan Reilly, a partner at Denver-based Reilly Pozner, said to Judge Pauley, according to a Reuters report. He claimed that Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BNY Mellon), which is acting as the trustee for the myriad pools of mortgage-backed securities covered in the settlement, previously had asked Judge Pauley to withhold substantive rulings until an appeal was heard. "A shroud of secrecy is being pushed back by asking you not to rule on anything," Reilly added.

However, Reuters reports that BNY Mellon said the negotiations leading to the proposed agreement were hardly as secretive as some investors seem to think.

On Oct. 19, Judge Pauley ruled the case belonged in federal court. BNY Mellon is seeking to appeal that decision.

“The settlement agreement at issue here implicates core federal interests in the integrity of nationally chartered banks and the vitality of the national securities markets,” Judge Pauley said in his decision at the time. “A controversy touching on these paramount federal interests should proceed in federal court.”

Twenty-two major investors approved the settlement but, in September, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claimed other investors affected by the settlement were excluded from the decision. AIG is one investor that has criticized the agreement and sued BofA on its own.

For more, read Reuters.

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.