The Standard & Poor's building is seen in New York. Picture: Jessica Rinaldi

Washington - The US government is seeking more than $5 billion in a lawsuit against rating agency Standard & Poor's over mortgage bond ratings, US Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday.

The civil suit against S&P and its parent McGraw-Hill Cos Inc is the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior related to the 2007-2009 US financial crisis. - Reuters