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JPMorgan to pay $264 million to resolve China hiring probe

JPMorgan to pay $264 million to resolve China hiring probe

(Reuters) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay U.S. authorities $264 million to resolve allegations that it hired the relatives of Chinese officials in order to win banking deals, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department said in statements Thursday.

A JPMorgan spokesman said in an email "the conduct was unacceptable." The hiring program was halted in 2013, and the bank took actions against those responsible, the spokesman said.

Authorities said JPMorgan's Asia unit created an elaborate program called "Sons and Daughters" that allowed clients and influential government officials to recommend potential hires. Those recommended hires could bypass JPMorgan's normal hiring program, receiving preferential treatment over other candidates, the SEC said.

Between 2006 and 2013, JPMorgan hired around 200 interns and full-term employees at the request of its Asia clients and Chinese officials from state-owned companies. Those state-owned companies brought JPMorgan more than $100 million in revenue, the SEC said.

For example, in pushing for one job candidate a JPMorgan banker said, "It will strengthen our relationship" with a client and solidify "our position as an advisor to him and the IPOs of his companies (expected to be >$500mm in offering size)," according to the SEC's order.

JPMorgan will pay the SEC $130 million. The bank would also pay the Justice Department $72 million and $61.9 million to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the SEC said. 

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