JPMorgan Chase Ordered to Remedy Risk Management Breakdowns Involving “London Whale” Trades

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and The Federal Reserve is ordering JPMorgan Chase (JPM) to fix the breakdown that occurred in its risk management that resulted in the “London Whale” trades. These were outsized credit derivatives bets made by a group of traders in the UK that resulted in over $6 billion in losses for the investment bank. Due to the extremity of the some of the positions, prices in the markets became distorted. The “London Whale” is the nickname of one of the traders involved.

According to the newly issued enforcement actions, the internal controls of the bank did not succeed in spotting and preventing specific trading involving credited derivatives that Chief Investment Office Ina Drew conducted and this led to the losses. The OCC says that per investigations that were conducted, there had been certain deficiencies, such as poor risk management procedures and processes, insufficient governance and oversight for proper material risk protection, inadequate control of trade valuation, models that were not properly developed or implemented, and insufficient internal audit processes. Meantime, the Fed pointed to deficiencies of senior management letting the board of directors know about certain issues.

While JPMorgan Chase doesn’t have to pay a fine, there are steps it is going to have to take to enhance its risk management and improve its anti-money laundering procedures. The OCC says that the financial firm’s controls for anti-money laundering have key deficiencies related to the reporting of suspicious activity, the monitoring of transactions, risk assessment, customer due diligence, independent testing, and the proper placement of adequate internal control systems.

Now, JPMorgan has issued its “Whale Report” related to its 2012 CIO losses. The documents look at the complex bets on credit derivatives placed by the financial firm’s chief investment office, which started to create huge losses in early 2012. Among its conclusions:

• The CIO’s execution and judgment, and escalation of issues during 2012’s first quarter were poor.

• The financial firm failed to ensure the CIO’s controls and oversight grew along with the greater complexity and risks affecting the unit.

• CIO Risk Management didn’t have the needed staff and structure to run the portfolio

• Risks limits were lacking in granularity.

• Modifications to VaR, the risk-measurement tool, were flawed.

If you believe you were the victim of derivatives securities fraud, contact our institutional investment fraud law firm today.

Related Web Resources:
Read the JPMorgan Report

JPMorgan Chase’s ‘Whale’ Harpooned by More Regulators, The Street, January 15, 2013

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Federal Reserve

More Blog Posts:
JPMorgan Chase Must Pay Oil Heiress’s Trust $18M For Derivatives Investments, Account Mismanagement, and Unsuitable Investment Advice, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 12, 2012

New York’s Attorney General Sues JP Morgan Chase & Co. Over Alleged MBS Financial Fraud by Its Bear Stearns Unit, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 4, 2012

Barclays LIBOR Manipulation Scam Places Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, and UBS Under The Investigation Microscope, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, July 16, 2012