ING divulges US RMBS class-action lawsuit
Netherlands-based ING Group divulged in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is the focus of several lawsuits in the United States. "In certain of such proceedings, very large or indeterminate amounts are sought, including punitive and other damages," the insurance conglomerate reveals in its annual 20-F report. ING is winding down its United States real estate holdings by 2013, a mandate that is part of its $13.5 billion bailout deal from the Dutch government. Class litigation filed in the United States District Court in New York alleges violations of federal securities laws. The lawsuit charges that ING failed to make certain disclosures in connection with the 2007 and 2008 offerings of ING's Perpetual Hybrid Capital Securities. The Court dismissed the claims relating to the 2007 offerings. Yet the challenge to the June 2008 offering still stands as it relates to ING Group investments in certain residential mortgage-backed securities. "Additional purported class litigation challenges the operation of the ING Americas Savings Plan and ESOP and the ING 401(k) Plan for ILIAC Agents," the statement adds. "These matters are being defended vigorously; however, at this time, ING is unable to assess their final outcome," the form states. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.