According to a press release dated September 19, 2008, the complaint charges CIBC and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. CIBC is one of Canada’s largest banking institutions, providing various financial products and services to corporate, government, and institutional clients in the U.S. and Canada.
The complaint alleges that the statements contained in CIBC’s press releases, SEC filings, conference calls and presentations during the Class Period were materially false and misleading when made because they failed to disclose that: (i) the Company did not make timely disclosure of material changes affecting the valuation of its investments in collateralized debt obligations consisting of U.S. subprime mortgages, in violation of U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”); (ii) the Company’s hedged subprime exposure was nearly four times larger than its unhedged subprime exposure; and (iii) 35% of the Company’s hedged subprime exposure was entrusted with ACA Financial Guaranty Corp, a substantially undercapitalized financial guarantor.
On December 6, 2007, CIBC released fourth quarter results that stunned the banking community by revealing a surprisingly large exposure to the troubled U.S. housing market. CIBC said its write-downs had already reached $1 billion, and warned of significantly higher losses in the future related to its $9.8 billion in hedged exposure to the subprime mortgage and CDO market. Upon this announcement, shares fell 8.4% over the next two trading days, from $85.83 to $78.59. But it was not until May 29, 2008 that the Company’s full exposure to U.S. subprime mortgages was finally revealed. On that date, CIBC swung to a fiscal second-quarter loss as it took a $2.51 billion loss related to its structured credit activities, and analysts said the potential for more write-downs looms even though the bank has taken charges totaling approximately $6 billion in the past year.
On January 12, 2009, the Court entered the Order signed by District Court William H. Pauley, III, granting in part the plaintiff's motion for appointment as lead plaintiff and approval of selection of lead counsel. The Court appoints Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 773 Pension Fund as lead plaintiff in this action, and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP as lead counsel. On February 20, 2009, the lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Class Action Amended Complaint. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss on May 15, 2009.
According to an article dated March 19, 2010, on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III (SDNY) dismissed a securities class action against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and four executives for alleged misstatements concerning the bank’s exposure to securities backed by subprime mortgages. Judge Pauley ruled that many major financial institutions failed to anticipate a meltdown in the mortgage market, and that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that CIBC had information that was contrary to their public statements, the WSJ reports. “CIBC, like so many other institutions, could not have been expected to anticipate the crisis with the accuracy plaintiff enjoys in hindsight,” the court found.
Judgment was entered on March 24, 2010. The action is dismissed in its entirety and the case is closed.