BofA near $8.5 billion settlement on securities: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp is close to a deal to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims from investors that lost money on mortgage-backed securities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The sum would be the largest such settlement in the banking industry to date, the Journal said. It reported that the deal would have to be approved by the bank's board, which met on Tuesday to discuss it, according to the sources.

The largest U.S. bank by assets has been fighting claims by a group of 22 investors, over the housing-related securities it packaged and sold before the financial crisis. The investor group includes BlackRock Inc, MetLife Inc and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Bank of America was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Maria Aspan in New York and Joe Rauch in Charlotte; editing by Carol Bishopric)