The activity is Fraud. The Banking Industry is subject to certain standards of conduct under the license issued to them. In theory, pleading no contest in this case should be grounds for pulling their license, because in theory, with this on their record they would not be given a license.
A settlement allowed in this case under these considerations is why there are protestors on Wall Street gone global. The Judicial System needs to intervene, stop the settlement, and make laws to curtail this kind of deceptions in our banking, and other financial industries.