WASHINGTON -- The accounting firm Ernst & Young agreed Monday to pay the federal government $400 million to settle charged that it contributed to the failure of several banks and thrifts.

The firm had contracts with at least 300 institutions that failed. A regulatory spokesman said Ernst & Young, though not responsible for all of the collapses, was accused of causing a dozen failures because of lax standards and violations of federal regulations.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.