JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) has agreed to pay at least $750 million to resolve U.S. and U.K. regulatory probes of its record trading loss last year, people with knowledge of the negotiations said.
The bank’s bad bets on derivatives, placed by U.K. trader Bruno Iksil, prompted authorities on two continents to open investigations into the firm’s controls and disclosures last year as losses surpassed $6.2 billion. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority are among watchdogs planning to sanction the New York-based lender, the people said.
Some settlements may be announced as early as this week, and total penalties may yet change, one of the people said. Iksil, who became known as the London Whale because his trading book was so large, agreed in June to testify against his colleagues after U.S. prosecutors promised not to charge him.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan brought charges last month against Iksil’s former boss, Javier Martin-Artajo, and a junior trader, Julien Grout, for allegedly conspiring to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Bharara and state attorneys general, who are running parallel inquiries, may levy separate penalties against the bank later, the people said.
TVNL Comments: Banks get fines for huge thefts. The rest of us get prison sentences for far lesser crimes.