JP Morgan in ‘London Whale’ deal

 

Banking giant JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay at least £440m to resolve investigations by British and American regulators over losses of £3.9bn by the infamous “London Whale” trader, it emerged last night.

The Wall Street Journal reported this figure, while news service Bloomberg put it slightly higher at £470m and added that the deal between the bank and regulators had not yet been finalised. A source confirmed the reports about the level of the fine were in the right area, but also said negotiations were continuing.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are among watchdogs planning to sanction the New York-based lender.

London-based trader Bruno Iksil was nicknamed the “London Whale” because of the vast size of his trades. He has avoided criminal prosecution and is thought to be helping the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, gather evidence.

Javier Martin-Artajo, Mr Iksil’s former supervisor, was arrested in Spain last month after US authorities issued warrants for him and another former colleague, junior trader Julien Grout. US prosecutors allege the two men hid hundreds of millions of dollars of losses.

A regulatory source said last night that an announcement was “looming”. “I think it is fairly soon. It could be this week, it could be next week, I’m not sure,” he said.

A spokesman for JP Morgan Chase said it was not commenting on the report because an agreement had not yet been reached.

A spokesman for the FCA said “we don’t talk about enforcement action until it’s come to completion… All we can say is we are investigating the ‘London Whale’ stuff.”

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