Nomura, RBS must pay $806 million in mortgage bond case, says U.S. judge

May 15 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday ordered Nomura Holdings Inc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to pay a collective $806 million for making false statements in selling mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan entered the judgment after finding the banks liable on Monday following a non-jury bench trial in a lawsuit by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over securities sold ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

Under the order, Fannie Mae will receive $26.6 million while Freddie Mac will be paid $779.4 million by the two firms.

The damages amount was in line with an estimate given to Reuters on Tuesday by a lawyer for the FHFA, which has acted as conservator for Fannie and Freddie since their 2008 government takeover.

While RBS was ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars, Nomura has agreed to an indemnify the bank, a person familiar with the matter said.

The banks also under the order will receive back the mortgage bonds the FHFA sued over, which a defense expert witness at trial estimated were worth $434 million to $479 million as of March 26.

Nomura in a statement said it will appeal, saying it "takes this situation very seriously and strongly disagrees with the outcome of the case."

Representatives for the FHFA and RBS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit was the first of 18 to reach trial filed by the regulator in 2011 over some $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that various banks sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The FHFA has obtained nearly $17.9 billion in settlements from institutions that include Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Deutsche Bank AG. Those deals followed adverse rulings by Cote.

Following a non-jury trial, Cote ruled against Nomura, which sponsored $2 billion of securities sold to Fannie and Freddie, and RBS, which underwrote four of the deals.

"The offering documents did not correctly describe the mortgage loans," Cote wrote. "The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous."


The case is Federal Housing Finance Agency v Nomura Holding America Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-06201. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Diane Craft)

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