UBS Agrees to Pay $120 Million in Lehman Bros. Dispute

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UBS has agreed to pay $120 million to settle a lawsuit by investors who accused the Swiss bank of misleading them about the financial condition of Lehman Brothers Holdings in connection with the sale of structured notes.

The preliminary settlement was disclosed in papers filed late Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and requires court approval.

It resolves claims over roughly $900 million of Lehman securities that UBS (UBS) underwrote and sold between March 2007 and September 2008, court papers show. Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 15, 2008.

UBS had no immediate comment on the settlement. Lawyers for the investors didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Many of the securities were "principal protection notes." UBS said in a regulatory filing that this reflected how some or all investor principal was an unconditional obligation of Lehman, even if the notes' return was linked to market indexes or other measures.

In a court filing, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the settlement compares favorably with other recoveries in class-action litigation related to the global financial crisis.

UBS in 2011 agreed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to pay a $2.5 million fine and up to $8.25 million in restitution and interest to some U.S. investors to resolve claims related to the securities.

The case is In re: Lehman Brothers Securities and ERISA Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-md-02017.

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