HSBC Bank USA Pulls Out of MBIA Restructuring Lawsuits

HSBC (HSBA) Bank USA agreed to withdraw from lawsuits challenging bond insurer MBIA Inc.’s restructuring in 2009, becoming the fifth plaintiff to drop out of the litigation since August.

HSBC’s action against MBIA was discontinued with prejudice, according to a stipulation filed today in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. No reason was given for the withdrawal. A claim dismissed with prejudice cannot be refiled.

KBC Investments Cayman Islands V Ltd. withdrew from the suits in August, according to court filings. Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank pulled out in September, Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) in October and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in November.

Banks including UBS AG and Bank of America Corp. remain plaintiffs in the suits, according to the filing. The banks said in the suits, filed in 2009, that Armonk, New York-based MBIA’s restructuring might make it unable to pay claims.

“The remaining plaintiffs are fully committed to seeing this litigation through to the end,” Robert J. Giuffra, lead counsel for the banks and a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, in a telephone interview.

More banks or other firms disputing MBIA’s restructuring may drop of lawsuits by the end of the year, Jay Brown, the bond insurer’s chief executive officer, said last month. Banks have discontinued litigation as MBIA negotiates settlements over the credit-default swaps it sold to the lenders to protect against losses on mortgage securities and other debt.

MBIA said Nov. 10 that it had settled $10.6 billion of transactions since Sept. 30 at an undisclosed cost, bringing the amount of bets terminated this year to $23 billion.

Kevin Brown, a spokesman for MBIA, declined to comment.

The cases are ABN Amro Bank NV v. MBIA Inc. (MBI), 601475/2009, and ABN Amro Bank NV v. Dinallo, 601846/2009, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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