LOS ANGELES A federal court on Friday denied a request by NCUA to reconsider a March ruling dismissing the vast majority of $491 million of claims against Goldman Sachs for mortgage-backed securities the Wall Street bank sold to corporate credit union failures U.S. Central FCU and WesCorp FCU, the latest in a growing list of losses for NCUA’s corporate suits.
Friday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California follows a ruling in federal court in Kansas earlier in the week dismissing NCUA’s claims against Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse for their sale of MBS to U.S. Central and WesCorp.
U.S. Central is the one-time $52-billion bankers’ bank that acted as a central bank for credit unions, and WesCorp is a one-time $34-billion corporate credit union that pooled investments from more than 1,000 credit unions, upstreaming most of those funds to U.S. Central.
In all three cases the courts ruled that NCUA waited too long to file its civil claims in order to satisfy the three-year statute of limitations on securities suits. The rulings jeopardize similar suits brought against JP Morgan Chase, RBS Securities, UBS, and several defunct underwriters that have been acquired by surviving banks, including Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual and Wachovia.
In Friday’s ruling, however, U.S. Judge George Wu did grant NCIA’s request for an interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the timeliness issue, the second appeals court that would review the issue. The ruling comes as the Tenth Circuit Appeals Court in Kansas where U.S. Central was based is reviewing similar question over a separate suit NCUA brought against RBS Securities.
The suits have enormous ramifications both for credit unions which are paying the $16 billion costs of the corporate credit union resolution and other institutional investors who also are suing the Wall Street banks over faulty MBS investments, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
In its suits, NCUA alleges the Wall Street banks negligently abandoned their own underwriting standards in packing the subprime mortgages into MBS that failed or were significantly downgraded soon after their sale to the doomed corporates.
U.S. Central and WesCorp are among five corporate credit unions to have failed during the 2008-2009 mortgage crisis due to their investments in MBS. The others are Members United Corporate FCU of Chicago, Southwest Corporate FCU of Dallas and Constitution Corporate FCU of Hartford, Conn.