Last year, JPMorgan Chase lost more than $6 billion when an impossibly large trading gamble went bad. It cost the company another $51 billion in market value when investors learned about the botched trades, and now they will spend close to $1 billion more to settle lawsuits from government regulators. The company announced today it will pay the SEC, the Federal Reserve, and the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority a total of $920 million for "failing to implement adequate controls" in its internal trading office.
JPMorgan also had to admit that it made "mistakes" at the Chief Investment Office in London, where one trader, Bruno Iksil, amassed positions so large he became known to other traders as the London Whale. At least three top executives, including the head of the CIO, Ina Drew, have left the company because of the scandal and several managers had their pay "clawed back." CEO Jamie Dimon also took a pay cut after the loss took a huge chunk out of the company's performance in 2012.
Two former traders were also indicted on fraud charges for allegedly trying to cover up the losses, once it became apparent how much the bank stood to lose when the trades went south. While the settlement ends the regulatory investigation, it doesn't close the door on possible criminal charges from the Justice Department, who are still investigating any claims of fraud.
Despite the massive fines this is still in not the biggest financial settlement between Wall Street banks the government. The nation's biggest firms have paid over $30 billion in cash and other assistance over the last two years, mostly to cover claims related to mortgage fraud and abuse.