JPMorgan Chase & Co has reached a tentative $13bn (€9.4bn) agreement with the US justice department to settle a range of mortgage issues.

The tentative deal does not release the bank from criminal liability, a factor that had been a major sticking point in the discussions.

As part of the deal, the bank will continue to cooperate in criminal inquiries into certain individuals involved in the conduct at issue.

Officials at JPMorgan and the Justice Department declined to comment.

A breakthrough in the weeks-long talks came last night, after Attorney General Eric Holder and JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon spoke on the phone and the bank agreed to leave criminal liability out of the settlement.

The bank and the Justice Department have been discussing abroad deal that would resolve not only a civil investigationinto mortgage securities that the bank sold in the runup to thefinancial crisis, but also similar lawsuits from the FederalHousing Finance Agency, the National Credit UnionAdministration, the state of New York and others.

Reuters reported late Friday that JPMorgan and FHFA had reached a tentative $4 billion deal.

That agreement is expectedto be part of the larger $13 billion settlement.

JPMorgan is seeking a single settlement to resolve allclaims from federal and state agencies over its mortgage-relatedliabilities stemming from the bust in house prices.