Bank of America has agreed to pay a record $16.65 billion for mortgage misdeeds committed before the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement marks the largest fine ever imposed on a single company by the U.S. government.
“This morning we demonstrate once again that no institution is either too big or too powerful to escape appropriate enforcement action by the department of justice. At nearly $17bn, this resolution with Bank of America is the largest the department has ever reached with a single entity in American history,” associate attorney general Tony West said at a press conference on Thursday. “This historic resolution – the largest such settlement on record – goes far beyond ‘the cost of doing business.”
The bank has agreed to pay $9.65 billion in cash to the Justice Department, six U.S. states and other government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An additional $7 billion in aid will go towards helping struggling consumers with loan payments and towards demolishing derelict properties.
“We believe this settlement, which resolves significant remaining mortgage-related exposures, is in the best interests of our shareholders, and allows us to continue to focus on the future,” Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said in the announcement regarding the pact.