Bank of America Corp.'s Countrywide Financial Corp. has agreed to pay $600 million to settle several class action lawsuits from Countrywide shareholders over the lender's subprime program, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday on its website.

U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in Los Angeles Monday gave preliminary approval for the settlement.

Countrywide's outside auditor, KPMG LLP, agreed to pay an additional $24 million as part of the settlement.

Several former Countrywide executives and directors, including former chief executive Angelo Mozilo and former president David Sambol, will not have to help fund the payment. The defendants did not admit to any wrongdoing.

"Countrywide denies all allegations of wrongdoing and any liability under the federal securities laws," Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton said in a statement.

"We agreed to the settlement to avoid the additional expense and uncertainty associated with continued litigation."

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