Bank of America has reached an agreement in principle to pay more than $16bn in cash and consumer relief to US authorities to resolve allegations it misled investors in mortgage-backed securities, people familiar with the matter said. The bank will pay around $9bn in cash and provide $7bn in consumer relief, such as modifying home loans and refinancing mortgages, as part of the deal, these people say.

If finalised, it will be the Department of Justice's largest settlement with a single entity, exceeding the $13bn pact that JPMorgan Chase agreed last year. So far this year banks have paid more than $50bn to resolve government investigations, exceeding the total collected in the whole of 2013.


BofA, which has already paid $9.5bn to resolve a similar lawsuit by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, last week was ordered by a US judge to pay $1.3bn more to US authorities.


BofA has built its litigation reserves this year ahead of a potential deal with the DoJ. The bank took a $4bn legal charge in the second quarter and reported its first quarterly loss in almost three years in the first quarter after a $6bn legal charge, partly reflecting some of the FHFA settlement and its ongoing talks with the DoJ.

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