December 21, 2016 / 8:55 AM / 8 months ago

Dutch housing coop Vestia seeks damages from Deutsche Bank for derivatives

AMSTERDAM, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Vestia, one of the largest Dutch housing cooperatives, said on Wednesday it had filed a large claim against Deutsche Bank, alleging the bank had improperly sold it interest rate derivatives.

Vestia said in a statement it had filed a claim at the High Court of Justice in London on Dec. 2 and would specify later how much it intended to seek in damages.

It alleged Deutsche Bank was responsible for 800 million euros ($832 million) out of 2.5 billion euros in damages suffered by the entire Dutch housing cooperative sector as a result of mis-sold interest rate derivatives.

Deutsche Bank could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Vestia spokesman Ronald Florisson said previous attempts to reach an out of court settlement with Deutsche Bank had failed.

Vestia was close to bankruptcy in 2012, facing losses on a 23 billion euro pile of derivatives that were supposed to protect the cooperative against a rise in interest rates but were later deemed mostly unnecessary, speculative and out of line with the organisation's charter.

Vestia survived with help from several Dutch government and semi-governmental organisations, including the country's other housing cooperatives, which were forced to contribute to a recovery plan.

Threatened with large losses in a Vestia bankruptcy, most of the banks that had sold the derivatives agreed in June 2012 to a deal to unwind them, and offer Vestia new financing.

Vestia's own losses are usually estimated at about 2 billion euros.

Vestia purchased the bulk of its derivatives from ABN Amro and Deutsche Bank, but also from Credit Suisse, Barclays, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan, Nomura and Societe General.

In 2015, as it sought a stock market listing, ABN Amro agreed to pay 55 million euros to settle Vestia's claims. .

The cooperative's former finance chief and a derivatives trader are among seven employees under criminal investigation over the matter. They deny wrongdoing.

In 2013, Vestia filed a 1.9 billion euro damages claim against former chief executive Erik Staal. This year, it settled with Staal and 10 former supervisory board members for 4.8 million euros with no admission of wrongdoing.

Accountants KPMG and Deloitte are still facing unresolved claims. They deny wrongdoing.

$1 = 0.9607 euros Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Mark Potter

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