updated 10/4/2004 11:51:52 AM ET 2004-10-04T15:51:52

American International Group Inc. said it has been informed by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could face a civil action over three of the company’s press releases, two of which came out in recent weeks.

AIG, New York, said the SEC is considering recommending charging that AIG press releases dated Jan. 30, 2002, and Sept. 21 and Sept. 29, 2004 violated securities laws.

The press releases are tied to financial transactions the company’s AIG Financial Products Corp. unit arranged for The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., a Pittsburgh-based bank, more than three years ago.

In the Jan. 30 release, AIG confirmed that it had arranged the deals, and said they were consolidated on its own financial statements. It also said it had not entered into any other transactions using this structure.

In July 2002, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, PNC settled allegations lodged against it by the SEC that it improperly shifted $762 million of underperforming loans and volatile venture-capital investments to three off-balance-sheet structures arranged with the help of the AIG unit.

The Sept. 21 release announced that AIG received notice from the SEC that the agency was mulling civil action due to the PNC deals.

The Sept. 29 release announced that the Justice Department is investigating possible violations of securities laws at AIG. The company said it believed the investigation related to the same matter the SEC was investigating.

AIG said Monday that it “believes that any contention that the three press releases are or may be false or misleading is without merit and that any action by the SEC would be unwarranted.”

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