” Banking giant HSBC has reached a $ 470 million settlement with the federal government and nearly all states over mortgage lending and foreclosure abuses that officials say helped intensify the country’s economic meltdown, the Justice Department announced Friday. The agreement requires the bank to pay $ 100 million and to provide an additional $ 370 million in consumer relief to borrowers and homeowners, including by reducing mortgage interest rates as well as the principal on mortgages for homeowners who are at risk of default.

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