HSBC (HBC) faces having to pay $1.6B in a lawsuit from the Federal Housing Finance Agency over soured mortgage bonds that the bank sold to Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB). The bank made the disclosure yesterday.
The figure is well above the $900M that analysts at Credit Suisse had estimated.
In total the FHFA has sued 18 banks over mortgage bonds; should HSBC's calculations for its liabilities be applied to some of the defendants with the largest exposure, including Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM) and RBS (RBS), they would have to pay over $7B each. Should these banks make payments in proportion with a recent UBS deal, the bill would above $4B.