JPMorgan fined $920M for London Whale loss
America’s largest financial institution will be required to pay $920 million for losses connected to the London Whale trade, according to several regulatory authorities.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority joined in sanctioning JPMorgan Chase, which will pay one of the largest fines ever levied against a financial institution. According to the regulators, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) failed to adequately supervise the traders responsible for losses that are projected to total as much as $7 billion.
Earlier this year ex-JPMorgan manager Javier Martin-Artajo was arrested in Spain for his involvement in the scandal. Martin-Artajo was charged with deliberately trying to conceal hundreds of millions of dollars from JPMorgan’s Synthetic Credit Portfolio in the spring of 2012. Since the scandal was uncovered and the extent of the losses determined, a number of investigations have looked into JPMorgan’s risk management system and internal controls. People like Martin-Artajo attempted to cover up the extent of the trade deficit by saying the bank’s initial trade loss was in the vicinity of $2 billion.
According to George Cancellos, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, “JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they over-valued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses.” Cancellos would go on to say the bank’s managers broke a “cardinal rule of corporate governance.” According to the SEC statement, JPMorgan acknowledged its wrongdoings and admitted to violating federal security laws.
The largest fine came from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which levied $300 million against JPMorgan. This was followed by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, which fined the back $221 million. The Federal Reserve and SEC each fined JPMorgan $200 million. When the dust settles, JPMorgan will have faced the third largest bank fine by US regulators in history. Only HSBC and UBS have faced bigger fines, at $1.92 billion (money laundering) and $780 million (tax evasion), respectively.
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