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January 16, 2013

Regulators should take off kid gloves

The orders issued by the US Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Monday against JPMorgan Chase may well disappoint the public. Compared with US authorities’ stance against non-US banks, the OCC and the Fed’s kid-gloves approach smells of protectionism. Compared with a full reckoning for banking mismanagement through the crisis, it falls short.

The Fed and OCC orders allege that deficient governance resulted in JPMorgan’s failure to rein in risk at its chief investment office, where a trader now known as the “London Whale” was able to rack up a derivatives position that cost the bank $6bn to unwind.

A separate set of orders allege it did too little to stop the flow of funds linked to Cuba, Sudan and Iran, which are subject to US sanctions. Despite the gravity of the accusations, the regulators merely ordered the bank to take measures to prevent a recurrence. They demanded not one cent in fines, nor admission of wrongdoing.”
Read full Financial Times article here
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