JPMorgan Agrees to Settle SEC Mortgage-Bond Probes

JPMorgan Chase this week reached a settlement with regulators to resolve claims tied to its home-loan business.

The agreement in principle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission covers two investigations related to mortgage-backed bonds handled by JPMorgan and Bear Stearns Cos., which the bank acquired in 2008, New York-based JPMorgan said today in a filing.

"The firm has reached an agreement in principle with the staff of the SEC to resolve" some claims, JPMorgan said in the filing. "The agreement in principle is subject to approval by the SEC, as well as court approval."

The SEC has issued notices to banks including JPMorgan in probes focusing on mortgage securities and whether lenders failed to disclose underlying credit weaknesses.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. paid $550 million in 2010 to settle SEC claims that it misled investors on a mortgage-linked investment in 2007. In that case, Goldman Sachs said it made a "mistake" in omitting disclosures.