JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is not happy about his bank having to pay billions in legal costs, reported Reuters. But why would he be? Perhaps his bank should play by the rules and stop breaking the law, then maybe his company wouldn’t be paying so much money to make up for poor conduct.
“Banks are under assault,” said Dimon to reporters during conference call.
Last November, JPMorgan agreed to pay $1 billion in penalties for its role in an international exchange market scam. The scam involved banks that trade on foreign currencies taking advantage of a one-minute break called “the fix.” During “the fix,” banks can manipulate the worth of foreign currencies in a way that’s beneficial to the banks, which invest in these foreign markets.
“Banks that fail to put the interests of their customers ahead of their of own greed deserve what’s coming to them,” commented Peter Mougey, a partner with the Levin, Papantonio law firm and director of the firm’s Business Torts and Securities Litigation departments.”
The $1 billion fee was to have the Department of Justice cease its investigation into JPMorgan’s role related to the scam. However, there’s an ongoing investigation into allegations that JPMorgan manipulated Libor interest rates.
“We have five or six regulators coming at us on every issue,” said Dimon.
Over the last two years, JPMorgan has had to pay up $15 billion in legal costs because of its bad behavior; $11.1 billion in 2013 and $1.1 billion this past quarter alone. The bank just can’t keep itself out of trouble with regulators. According to the Wall Street Journal, out of a $13 billion settlement in 2013:
$9 billion will go to pay federal and state civil lawsuit claims over residential-backed mortgage securities. Of that $9 billion, the bank will pay $2 billion as a civil penalty to the Justice Department, $1.4 billion to settle federal and state claims by the National Credit Union Administration, $515 million to settle Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. claims, $4 billion to settle Federal Housing Finance Agency claims, nearly $300 million to settle claims by California state officials, nearly $20 million to settle claims by Delaware, $100 million to settle claims from Illinois, $34 million to settle claims by Massachusetts, and nearly $614 million to settle claims by New York State.
Considering JPMorgan Chase’s horrible conduct and sordid past, how exactly can Jamie Dimon play the victim and claim that “banks are under assault” by the regulators? If anything, it’s the economy, stock market, and financial consumers who are under attack from the banks.