JPMorgan Chase & Co., saying it faces a criminal probe in the United States over its foreign-exchange deals, has boosted estimates for for legal losses to the highest in more than a year.
It said it is cooperating with the Department of Justice and dealing with inquiries by regulators in Britain and elsewhere, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The largest US bank said it might need as much as US$5.9 billion to cover losses beyond reserves for legal matters, up US$1.3 billion from the end of June, and the most since mid-2013.
“In recent months, US government officials have emphasized their willingness to bring criminal actions against financial institutions,” the bank said.
“Such actions can have significant collateral consequences for a subject financial institution, including loss of customers and business.”
Chief executive Jamie Dimon, who led the New York-based firm through US$23 billion in settlements last year, is contending with an international probe into whether traders at the biggest banks sought to profit by rigging currency rates.
Citigroup Inc. and Zurich-based UBS A.G. disclosed last week they also face criminal inquiries by the Justice Department into their foreign exchange dealings. Citigroup cut third-quarter results to include a US$600 million legal charge, the report said.
“These investigations are focused on the firm’s spot FX trading activities as well as controls applicable to those activities,” JPMorgan said in a report.
While the company is in talks to resolve the cases, “there is no assurance that such discussions will result in settlements,” it said.
Banks are facing foreign-exchange probes by authorities on three continents, people with knowledge of the situation have said.
Richard Usher, JPMorgan’s chief currency dealer in London, left the company amid efforts to settle a British probe into allegations of foreign-exchange rigging.
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