JPMorgan under US criminal probe on forex trade

JPMorgan under US criminal probe on forex trade

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 12:35 am

JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase

The US Department of Justice has launched a criminal probe of JPMorgan Chase’s foreign exchange trading business, the bank disclosed Monday in a securities filing.

JPMorgan said it is cooperating with the DOJ probe and with other US and foreign investigations related to manipulation in the forex trade, as it raised its estimate of related legal costs by $1.3 billion to $5.9 billion.

The foreign exchange probes focus on the bank’s “spot FX trading activities as well as controls applicable to those activities,” the filing said.

The bank is in talks with regulators to settle the cases, but “there is no assurance that such discussions will result in settlements,” it added.

Previous disclosures by JPMorgan and other large banks of regulatory probes into foreign exchange trades have described civil investigations.

JPMorgan is the first large bank to disclose a criminal probe.

The investigation has focused on whether traders from large banks colluded via online chat rooms to set rates in the massive foreign exchange market. Several leading banks have suspended or fired traders amid the investigations.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority is holding talks with JPMorgan and five other large banks to settle allegations the banks conspired to manipulate currency trades, people familiar with the matter have told AFP.

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