Reuters news service is reporting that bond insurer MBIA Inc. has reached settlements in the lawsuits of the London branch of UBS AG against MBIA.
MBIA’s problems stem from the real-estate bubble, during which many banks made dubious loans and securitized them. MBIA and other companies insured the securities. When the recession hit in 2008, real estate values plunged, unemployment spiked, and many home owners stopped making payments on their mortgages. The securities turned out to be worth far less than had been promised.
Many banks asked MBIA to fulfill its pledge on insuring the securities, putting financial pressure on the company.
To deal with its economic troubles, the company decided in 2009 to place its municipal insurance business into a new unit.
In response to MBIA’s split, more than a dozen plaintiffs, mainly banks, sued MBIA in what is called the transformation suits. Over time several of the banks have dropped out after reaching settlements with MBIA.
If UBS has withdrawn from the suits, only three litigants would be left: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Natixis and Société Générale.
One of the three transformation suits is expected to go to trial this spring.
The MBIA-UBS agreement calls for MBIA to make a payment to UBS and UBS to give up claims on credit-default swaps, Reuters reported.
Representatives of MBIA and UBS declined to comment for this story.