JP Morgan set to bar traders from online chat rooms


James Rothwell
Tuesday 17 December 2013 14:25
JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon
JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon

Wall Street giant JP Morgan is expected to ban traders from online chat rooms this week.

The move comes after a spate of probes by regulators into trading practices across the banking industry.

The proposed measures are understood to be part of a crackdown on bankers’ embarrassing online chat logs.

A number of recent lawsuits have cited instant messages and emails as evidence for the allegations that bankers colluded to fix benchmark prices, such as the online chat logs of bankers across the industry involved in the Libor rate fixing scandal.

A recent probe into possible currency manipulation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority also revealed bankers known by names such as “The Cartel,” “The Dream Team” and “The Bandit’s Club” were using chat room on Bloomberg terminals and instant messages.

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon has warned employees about online chat practices.

“Don’t exaggerate, don’t ruminate and don’t bullshit. I’m serious,” he told his London office in November.

It would not be the first investment bank to block instant messaging services.

Last November, Deutsche Bank announced plans to ban traders from chat rooms shortly after it was fined 600 million euros for market manipulation and collusion with competitors.

A number of other investment banks, including Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are considering alternative messaging systems which offer secure internal communication to staff.

A spokesman for JP Morgan declined to comment.

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