Dexia filed the suit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan in January 2012 over 29 residential mortgage-backed securities bought by its unit FSA Asset Management LLC from Morgan Stanley for $626 million in 2006 and 2007.
Morgan Stanley had asked Justice Eileen Bransten to dismiss the case, saying that Dexia didn’t have the right to sue because the transaction assigned only ownership and contractual rights, not claims. Morgan Stanley also argued that FSA couldn’t bring fraud claims because it received face value for the securities and didn’t suffer damages.
Bransten agreed with New York-based Morgan Stanley in a ruling dated Oct. 16. FSA Asset Management didn’t assign fraud claims to Dexia and didn’t suffer damages, the judge ruled.
“FSAM suffered no losses on the RMBS it purchased; it received exactly the purchase price upon the sale to the Dexia plaintiffs,” Bransten wrote. “There is also no allegation that pass-through payments due to FSAM as holders of the participation certificates were missed. To the extent FSAM did receive pass-through payments, the RMBS were profitable to them, and there can be no claim of damages.”
Once the world’s leading lender to municipalities, Dexia, based in Brussels and Paris, is being dismantled by Belgium and France because it could no longer fund itself when the sovereign-debt crisis dried up short-term financing. The bank didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment on the ruling.
“Even if the court is to accept as true that there have been material misrepresentations” the claims must be dismissed, Bransten said. “Deception without damages is not actionable.”