October 27, 2016 / 7:25 PM / 3 years ago

Barclays: Bloomberg report it seeking $2 billion U.S. penalty cap inaccurate

Customers queue outside a branch of Barclays bank in Manchester northern England, March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files

(Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) said on Thursday a Bloomberg report that it is trying to cap a penalty to settle a U.S investigation into its sale of mortgage securities at $2 billion was based on ill-informed speculation.

Citing a source, news agency Bloomberg reported Barclays was trying to cap the penalty after receiving an opening offer it considered too high.

The Department of Justice’s (DoJ) starting point for negotiations wasn’t disclosed but it was less than the $14 billion opening offer by the U.S. to Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) over similar allegations, Bloomberg said.

“This story is based on ill-informed speculation and contains material inaccuracies,” a Barclays spokesman said in a statement that referred to the Bloomberg report.

A spokesman for DOJ declined to comment.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that no settlement is imminent.

Deutsche and Barclays are among a group of banks being probed by U.S. authorities over alleged misconduct in the sale of mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, has been in the spotlight since a September report that DoJ asked the bank for $14 billion to settle the probe into its mortgage-backed securities.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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