Financial News

  • 29 August 2013, 5:08

JPMorgan Chase 'Faces $6bn Mis-Selling Fine'

JPMorgan Chase is facing the prospect of paying a near-record fine for a bank relating to its behaviour before the financial crisis.

According to Reuters, US authorities are pressing JPMorgan to settle allegations it mis-sold $33bn (£21bn) of securities to government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Regulators are said to be demanding a penalty of $6bn (£3.9bn), though the Financial Times said the bank was resisting such an amount.

The potential fine underlines the growing pressure on JPMorgan over its past.

The bank is also expected to face demands for billions of dollars to settle regulatory action over the $6.2bn "London Whale" trading loss while alleged manipulation of commodities markets is under scrutiny too.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that federal regulators were preparing to impose a fine of $80m on JPMorgan relating to its dealings with US retail customers during the recession.

But it is the potential penalties over the mis-selling allegations and "Whale" loss that will be the greatest concerns for the Wall Street bank's chief executive, Jamie Dimon.

He is understood to argue that the bank should not be punished so severely for the securities because many were sold by two companies which JPMorgan bought amid the financial crisis with US government support.

Mr Dimon had previously apologised to shareholders over the trading losses in London, calling them a "terrible mistake" which had led to an overhaul of investment procedures.

Spanish police arrested and bailed former trader Javier Martin-Artajo on Tuesday after he was charged in connection with the case by US authorities.

Martin-Artajo and another man, Julien Grout, are accused of wire fraud and conspiracy to falsify books and records related to the trading losses, which were executed by Bruno Iksil.

Iksil, who was nicknamed the "London Whale" for his large bets on derivatives markets, is cooperating with US prosecutors and has not been charged.