JPMorgan faces criminal probe into its foreign-exchange trading business

November 4, 2014, 12:16 AM UTC
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A man uses a cell phone outside the JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters on Park Avenue in New York, U.S. on Thursday, July 15, 2010. JPMorgan, the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, said profit rose 76 percent, bouyed by a $6.3 billion reduction in provisions for soured mortgages and credit-card loans from last year. Photographer: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Jonathan Fickies — Bloomberg via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase is facing a criminal probe by the Justice Department into its foreign exchange trading business, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.

The bank said that U.S. financial regulators including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are conducting civil investigations. European regulators are also conducting an inquiry.

JPMorgan is one of several large banks currently in settlement talks with regulators over alleged rigging of the global currency market. The bank said in its filing that the inquiry is focused on its spot currency exchange trading activities and the internal controls related to them.

The bank says it is cooperating with the assorted investigations and is in talks with the DOJ and other regulators, though JPMorgan noted that “there is no assurance that such discussions will result in settlements.”

The banking giant also said that it now estimates its “reasonably possible losses” from legal matters could amount to as much as $5.9 billion, up from the bank’s previous estimate of $4.6 billion.

JPMorgan’s filing came on the same day that HSBC (HSBC) set aside $1.6 billion for legal costs, some of which is earmarked for an ongoing investigation into that bank’s foreign exchange trading business by U.K. regulators. Last week, Citigroup (C) — another bank in settlement talks with regulators — slashed its previously-reported third-quarter profits in order to factor in an additional $600 million in legal costs.

JPMorgan’s shares (JPM) were down about 0.8% in after-hours trading following Monday’s announcement.


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