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Morgan Stanley will pay to settle SEC probe

WASHINGTON--U.S. banking giant Morgan Stanley on Tuesday said it would pay US$275 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of mortgage-backed securities deals.

In a filing, Morgan Stanley noted that it had reached a preliminary agreement with the SEC in late January to resolve the investigation into the bank's subprime mortgage-backed securities transactions in 2007.

Under the terms of the agreement, Morgan Stanley would be charged with violations of the Securities Act.

“The Company would pay disgorgement and penalties in an amount of US$275 million and would neither admit nor deny the SEC's findings,” the bank said.

“The SEC has not yet presented the proposed settlement to the Commission and no assurance can be given that it will be accepted.”

Earlier in the month Morgan Stanley reported it would pay US$1.25 billion to the US Federal Housing Finance Agency to settle charges that it misled investors on the sale of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the housing bust.

The settlement would resolve a September 2011 suit in which the FHFA, the conservator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, alleged that Morgan Stanley made “untrue statements and material omissions” in the sale of about US$11 billion in worth of mortgage-backed securities.

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