FRANKFURT, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG was sued for damages by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America as part of a wider backlash against aggressive sales tactics used at the height of the financial crisis.
Citing a U.S. Senate subcommittee report on the financial crisis, TIAA said in a lawsuit filed Monday in a New York state court in Manhattan that it would seek millions of dollars in damages from Deutsche Bank over the latter's role in selling it poor-quality residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).
TIAA is a large U.S. provider of annuities, life insurance and pension plan services to colleges and other educational and nonprofit institutions.
According to the complaint, Deutsche Bank originated, purchased, financed, and securitized exceptionally high-risk loans, while internally disparaging the poor quality of these loans and the resulting RMBS as "pigs" and "crap."
Deutsche Bank "knew or recklessly disregarded that the offering materials and credit ratings materially misrepresented the quality and purportedly conservative nature of the RMBS," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks to recover losses incurred by TIAA, as well as punitive damages.
A bank spokeswoman in New York said: "We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against this lawsuit, which we believe is without merit."
The TIAA lawsuit quotes extensively from an April report by a U.S. Senate subcommittee, "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse."
The report details how senior traders at Deutsche Bank belittled the RMBS being offered for sale by the bank.
Last month, Dexia SA also sued Deutsche Bank for losses on $1 billion of bonds that it bought from the German lender, which it accused of simultaneously betting against home loans backing the securities.
In May, meanwhile, the Department of Justice filed a civil fraud lawsuit accusing Deutsche Bank of misleading the Federal Housing Administration into believing that many low-quality mortgages issued by its MortgageIT unit qualified for insurance. Deutsche Bank is trying to dismiss that case.
The case is Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America v. Deutsche Bank AG et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 652122/2011.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel)