The case is National Credit Union Administration Board versus Morgan Stanley & Co., 13-cv-2418, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas (Kansas City), and it is, like most suits brought against “Wall Street” following the financial crisis, largely toothless, too little too late and a simple talking point that justifies the salaries of regulators who sue after the fact rather than regulating before the damage is done.
Morgan Stanley owns the world’s largest brokerage
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) owns the world’s largest brokerage, and is now the target of the federal credit union regulator for its sale of over a half a billion in residential mortgage-backed securities to failed credit unions.
According to the complaint filed on the 16th of this month in a Kansas City, KS federal court, the bank and three of its units made misleading statements that ultimately doomed the credit unions in question. While the lawsuit was filed two weeks ago, the National Credit Union Administration waited to serve each defendant before announcing the suit.
Originators of the securities “systematically abandoned the stated underwriting guidelines in the offering documents,” the agency said in a statement today. “The securities were significantly riskier than represented.”
Morgan Stanley now joins JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) as institutions that have been sued by the NCUA over mortgage-backed securities.
The agency is looking to recover from Morgan Stanley losses
The agency is looking to recover from the Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) losses it believes directly forced the 2010 liquidation of U.S. Central Federal Credit Union, based in Lenexa, Kansas, and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, based in San Dimas, California.
“Firms like Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) sold securities that turned out to be faulty, triggering a crisis in the credit union industry that has been extremely expensive to contain and repair, and credit unions are still paying the tab,” NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said in the agency’s statement.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s spokesperson, Mary Claire Delaney, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg earlier today. She certainly learned this from the other institutions that have had similar charges brought against them.
It’s expected that Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) will simply throw the weight of its legal team at this problem and some resolution is expected in the decade that brings your average taxpayer a jet-pack.