ABP settles with Goldman Sachs over residential mortgage-backed securities

Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands announced Friday it has settled claims against Goldman Sachs & Co. concerning residential mortgage-backed securities purchased from 2005 to 2007, according to pension fund spokesman Harmen Geers.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The €292 billion ($382 billion) ABP will continue to pursue other similar lawsuits against Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, Morgan Stanley (MS) and Ally Financial Inc., Mr. Geers said. The pension fund had previously settled similar cases with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Countrywide Financial.

According to a claim initially filed in 2011 in the New York Supreme Court, ABP alleged that “as a result of the untrue statements and omissions” made in the offering documents, the RMBS purchased were “far riskier than represented.” The lawsuit also alleged that Goldman Sachs failed to perform “due diligence and undertook certain quality control measures to ensure that shoddily underwritten mortgages were not included in the certificates they underwrote and sold.”

Furthermore, citing a November 2006 internal e-mail from Goldman Sachs that had been included as an exhibit to the Levin report, legal documents alleged that Goldman Sachs knew that these loans were “crap.” Nevertheless, the bank “purchased them, securitized them and sold the securities to investors like ABP.” The Levin report was an investigation by the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into Goldman Sachs' role in the financial crisis. The probe was chaired by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Goldman Sachs has denied and continues to deny these claims, according to a news release issued by ABP. Sullivan & Cromwell, which represents Goldman Sachs in the case, could not be reached by press time for comment.