The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the losses racked up at JPMorgan Chase, increasing the pressure on the bank, which already has Wall Street regulators looking at last week's massive trading losses.
The revelation of the move by the US Justice Department came as Jamie Dimon was given a bloody nose by investors yesterday as 40 per cent of JPMorgan Chase's shareholders voted to strip him of the bank's chairmanship. The inquiry into potential wrongdoing at JPMorgan, which is at an early stage, is expected to look at the bank's accounting methods and public statements.
Facing his investors for the first time since announcing a $2.3bn (£1.4bn) loss on complex derivatives on Thursday, the previously unassailable chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan faced a torrent of criticism at the company's annual meeting in Tampa, Florida.
Mr Dimon's vociferous opposition to greater banking regulations and his determination to swim against the corporate governance tide by clinging to JPMorgan's top two roles were among shareholders' biggest bugbears.
The Reverend Seamus Finn, representing shareholders from the Catholic organisation Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, said that investors were getting used to hearing Mr Dimon apologise – even if it has previously been about the continuing crisis in the US housing market. "We heard the same refrain: We have learnt from our mistakes. This will never be allowed to happen again. I can't help wondering if you are listening," Mr Finn said.
Another shareholder urged the chairman and chief executive to "very publicly switch direction to become a strong advocate of financial regulation". Mr Dimon defended his right to "engage" with the regulators and insisted he "believes in strong, simple, good regulation".
Lisa Lindsley said independent board leadership was in the investors' best interests. "An all-powerful CEO is his own boss. Looking for an infallible CEO is a fool's errand." The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) led calls to relieve Mr Dimon of his chairmanship yesterday.Reuse content