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US banks push back as financial-crisis lawsuits pile up

Published on Oct 15, 2012 12:46 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As US authorities seek to make Wall Street pay for its role in triggering the financial crisis more than four years ago, banks are starting to fight back, frustrated that they are being asked to pay more than once for the same conduct.

The result may be that federal and state authorities trying to extract penalties from the banks are forced to go through lengthy courtroom battles, instead of getting hundreds of millions of dollars through relatively quick settlements.

In the past two weeks, two of the biggest banks were hit with separate mortgage-related lawsuits.

One from the US Attorney's office in Manhattan accused Wells Fargo of misleading the government in a "longstanding and reckless" pattern of certifying the quality of questionable home loans and failing to report problems on others.

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