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The Fannie Mae headquarters is seen in Washington Nov. 7, 2013.GARY CAMERON/Reuters

British bank HSBC Holdings PLC has agreed to pay $550-million (U.S.) to resolve U.S. claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the settlement Friday with HSBC. London-based HSBC is Europe's largest bank and also has extensive operations in the U.S. Its U.S. division has about $289-billion in assets, making it the ninth largest bank in the U.S.

HSBC sold the securities to the two mortgage companies between 2005 and 2007. Under the settlement, HSBC is paying $176-million to Fannie and $374-million to Freddie.

"We are pleased to have resolved this matter," said Stuart Alderoty, HSBC North America's senior executive vice-president and general counsel.

The settlement is the latest federal government agreement over actions related to the financial crisis that struck in 2008. The meltdown, triggered by vast sales of high-risk mortgage securities, plunged the economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

The securities soured after the housing bubble burst in 2007, losing billions in value.

The government rescued Fannie and Freddie at the height of the financial crisis in September, 2008, when they were on the verge of collapse. The companies received taxpayer aid totalling $187-billion. They have since become profitable and repaid the full bailouts.

The FHFA sued 18 financial institutions in 2011 over their sales of mortgage securities to Fannie and Freddie. The total price for the securities sold was $196-billion. The agency said Friday that it has now reached settlements with all but two of the banks.

A number of big banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup, previously have been accused of abuses in sales of securities linked to mortgages in the years leading up to the crisis. Together, they have paid hundreds of millions in penalties to settle civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused them of deceiving investors about the quality of the bonds they sold.

Goldman agreed in 2010 to pay $550-million to settle the SEC's charges, the largest penalty against a Wall Street firm in the agency's history.

In recent months, the Justice Department and state regulators have reached multibillion-dollar agreements over mortgage securities with JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America. The most recent was announced last month with Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank, which is paying a record $16.65-billion – $7-billion of it earmarked for consumer relief.