JPMorgan agrees to pay $920 million to settle market manipulation charges
JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N has agreed to pay more than $920 million and admitted to wrongdoing to settle federal U.S. market manipulation probes into its trading of metals futures and Treasury securities, the U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.
The landmark multi-agency settlement lifts a regulatory shadow that has hung over the bank for several years and marks a signature victory for the government’s efforts to clamp down on illegal trading in the futures and precious metals market.
JPMorgan will pay $436.4 million in fines, $311.7 million in restitution and more than $172 million in disgorgement, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Tuesday, the biggest-ever settlement imposed by the derivatives regulator.
According to the settlement, between 2009 and 2016 JPMorgan Treasurys traders placed orders on one side of the market which they never intended to execute, to create a false impression of buy or sell interest that would raise or depress prices. The manipulative practice designed to create the illusion or demand or a lack of demand is known as “spoofing.”
“The conduct of the individuals referenced in today’s resolutions is unacceptable and they are no longer with the firm,” said Daniel Pinto, co-president of JPMorgan and CEO of the Corporate & Investment Bank.
He added that the bank had invested “considerable resources” to boosting its internal compliance policies, surveillance systems and training programs.
In parallel settlements, the bank entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, staving off criminal prosecution on charges of wire fraud.
It also agreed to pay $35 million to settle related charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, although the bank’s payment to the CFTC would offset that fine, it said.
“This record-setting enforcement action demonstrates the CFTC’s commitment to being tough on those who intentionally break our rules, no matter who they are. Attempts to manipulate our markets won’t be tolerated,” said CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert.