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JP Morgan faces fresh penalties for internal controls – bringing total fines paid in second half of 2020 to over $1 billion

JP MORGAN is to pay a $250 million fine

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

JP MORGAN CHASE is to pay a $250 million fine to the US Treasury following an investigation into issues with the company’s internal audits and controls.

The fine, announced Tuesday, was handed down by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – a federal agency responsible for licencing and supervising America’s banks.

Combined with a previous payment in September for a separate case – the bank will now have paid out $1.17 billion in penalties to US authorities in the second half of 2020.

The scale of the fine was in response to what the OCC described as deficient risk management practices and insufficient framework to deal with conflicts of interest.

“For several years, the Bank maintained a weak management and control framework for its fiduciary activities and had an insufficient audit program for, and inadequate internal controls over, those activities,” the OCC said in a statement.

“Among other things, the Bank had deficient risk management practices and an insufficient framework for avoiding conflicts of interest.”

The statement concluded, however, that the bank has “remediated the deficiencies” that led to the fine.

While an official statement has not been released yet, a JP Morgan spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the bank was taking the rule violations seriously.

“We are committed to delivering best-in-class controls across our business and we have invested significantly in, and enhanced our controls platform over the last several years to address the issues identified,” said Managing Director for Asset and Wealth management Darin Oduyoye.

The news comes just two months after the bank announced it would pay another fine to US authorities – $920 million to the Department of Justice – after a separate investigation regarding some of the bank’s previous trading practices.

Between 2008 and 2016, former employees were found to have engaged in trades of precious metals and US treasuries markets which violated US regulations.

At the time, Co-President of JP Morgan Daniel Pinto criticised the conduct of those former employees as “unacceptable,” and stressed that none of them were still working with the company. 

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