WASHINGTON The National Credit Union Administration on Monday joined a growing queue of angry investors suing Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.
The agency claims the Deutsche Bank unit violated federal and New York state law by failing to perform its duties as trustee for 121 pools of mortgage-backed securities in which five corporate credit unions invested. NCUA is seeking an undetermined sum in damages and legal costs.
The five corporate credit unions, U.S Central, WesCorp, Members United, Southwest and Constitution, failed, in large part because of massive losses connected to their investments in mortgage-backed securities. NCUA says the five purchased $140 billion of securities from the 121 pools for which Deutsche Bank served as trustee.
"Trustees have the basic duty to protect, and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company failed to comply with the duties imposed by federal and state law," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said in a written statement Monday. "This failure harmed trust beneficiaries, including the corporate credit unions. NCUA will do all it can to pursue appropriate remedies and recoup the losses suffered by the credit union system."
A spokesman for the NCUA declined further comment.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said, "We believe these claims to be without merit, and we will vigorously defend ourselves."
NCUA's suit is similar to actions filed against Deutsche Bank in June in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by Belgian investment firm Royal Park Investments and by a consortium of financial institutions including Black Rock Inc., Pacific Investment Management Co., Prudential Financial Inc. and Charles Schwab Co.
NCUA also filed its suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In each of the three suits, plaintiffs allege Deutsche Bank failed to inform them of deep and serious problems with the mortgages underlying their investments. They also allege Deutsche Bank failed to take appropriate remedial action against the issuers of the bond, even as delinquencies and losses mounted.
According to NCUA's complaint, the mortgages that comprised the pools in which the five corporate credit unions invested were originated between 2004 and 2008. By January 2009, delinquency rates in 118 of the 121 pools had climbed above 10%. Two years later, losses had surged past $18 billion and credit ratings for all of the pools had been downgraded to junk status, rendering them worthless.