Thousands of former shareholders in Household International have been rewarded for their patience with a record $2.5 billion in damages in a securities fraud case that has run for 11 years.
U.S. district judge Ronald Guzman made the final judgment Thursday against HSBC(HBC), which bought the mortgage and credit card company in 2002.
Investors began the class action in August 2002, claiming Household and three former top executives made false and misleading statements about the business to inflate its stock price artificially, and used predatory lending practices to boost sales.
A Chicago jury found in their favor in May 2009 but the imposition of the ruling was held up by HSBC's attempt to challenge thousands of claims.
The London-based bank said Thursday's ruling was only the "next legal step" in the long-running case and it would be appealing against both the substance of the case and the level of damages.
"We plan to appeal and believe we have a strong argument," a spokeswoman said.