JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) can breathe a little easier as they’ve just taken a major step in putting the infamous “London Whale” trading loss behind them. On Sept. 19 the bank settled investigations into the bank’s attempt to cover up the trading loss. with the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency, The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, and the UK Futures Trading Commission to the tune of $920 million, and an admission they violated federal financial laws.
The settlement placates the majority of governmental agencies that had been looking into the bank following the London Whale scandal came to a head. However, the bank is still being investigated by a handful of government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department, or notably the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The settlements with those companies are expected to total in the hundreds of millions as well.
JPMorgan is going to great lengths to put distance between them and the London Whale, a massive trading loss out of the bank’s London branch that ended up costing $6.2 billion. JPMorgan hid the losses from investors, and initially understated them on their initial earnings report.
While this round of settlements gives JPMorgan some breathing room, their legal woes are far from over. Aside from the aforementioned agencies still investigating the company, the bank is still dealing with accusations they bribed Chinese officials for favorable contracts, and possible shareholders litigation. As JPMorgan was forced to admit they broke the law, shareholders could still theoretically try to recoup money they lost resulting from the stock drop caused by the London Whale.
Of particular note is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a regulatory body JPMorgan is going to great lengths to appease. The bank has already put their physical commodities desk up for sale, and is looking to move the controversial head of the bank’s commodities exchange out of the company.
If JPMorgan is able to settle their legal troubles, the bank is poised to break out. The company posted record profits in 2012, and issued triumphant earnings reports in the first and second quarter of 2013.
JPMorgan is down 1.18 percent to hit $52.78 a share.
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