Accessibility links

Biggest US Bank Agrees to Huge Fine in Trading Case

  • VOA News

A JP Morgan Chase & Co sign is seen outside of the bank's headquarters in New York September 19, 2013.

A JP Morgan Chase & Co sign is seen outside of the bank's headquarters in New York September 19, 2013.

The biggest U.S. bank, JPMorgan Chase, has agreed to pay $920 million in fines to American and British regulators for its "unsafe and unsound" monitoring of complex securities trading in its London office.

The penalties were announced Thursday, the latest chapter in multiple investigations into the bank's trades that cost it $6.2 billion in losses last year. Under the agreement, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $700 million to three U.S. financial regulators, including its central bank, and $220 million to Britain's Financial Conduct Authority.

Later in the day, the bank settled another case, agreeing to pay $80 million in fines to the U.S. over allegations that it duped credit-card customers into buying extra services they did not want. The bank has already refunded $309 million to more than 2 million of its customers in the matter.

In agreeing to the fines in the securities case, the bank acknowledged that it did not have adequate controls in place to keep track of the financial trades being made in the London office, and that officials did not disclose the mounting losses to Chase's senior management or regulators.

Many of the errant business deals were made by Bruno Iksil, a trader whose losses were so huge he became known as the London Whale.

As the company's losses became known, its stock market value plummeted by nearly $51 billion. Four senior JPMorgan Chase executives have left the bank as a result of the losses, and the salary of the firm's prominent chief executive, Jamie Dimon, was cut in half.

U.S. criminal prosecutors are still investigating the trades, as are commodity trading regulators.

American authorities have also launched a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of prominent Chinese officials to help it win business deals in China.