RBS and Barclays face new probe by US regulators

RBS is said to be among nine banks being investigated for selling subprime mortgages

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The Independent Online

Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are among several banks facing fresh woe in the US, amid reports investigators are again looking into whether they mispriced mortgage-backed securities.

If the probe is taken forward it would be highly significant because it is said to date from after the financial crisis.

Mortgage-backed securities or bonds were blamed for being one of the chief causes of the crash, and banks were left with large numbers of them on their books. Many markets were barely active after the dust had settled, and the securities were hard to value.

Watchdogs are said to be wanting information about whether banks made misrepresentation about them to secure deals, and whether aggressive selling crossed the line into something illegal. But the probe does not necessarily mean disciplinary action will follow.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank,  UBS, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are also said to be part of the probe.  Big banks have already paid billions of dollars in fines for conduct during the crisis.