JP Morgan's Dimon responds to Goldman resignation column

Reuters News

3/15/2012 3:24:50 AM - Reuters News

(Reuters) - J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told employees to resist taking advantage of competitors and to focus instead on strengthening the bank's own standards, in an internal memo sent in response to the firestorm engulfing Goldman Sachs after a former banker published his resignation letter in the New York Times.

According to sources at JP Morgan who have seen the memo, Dimon did not identify Goldman, but it is clear from the brief message that it is a reply to the resignation ordeal.

The Dimon message, sent to the bank's global operating committee, was later forwarded to wider parts of J.P. Morgan, said the sources.

J.P. Morgan declined to comment on the memo.

Goldman faced an unprecedented assault from one of its own on Wednesday when London banker Greg Smith published a withering resignation letter in the opinion section of the New York Times, calling the Wall Street bank a "toxic" place where managing directors referred to their own clients as "muppets."

Smith, who worked in equity derivatives, said Goldman had become "as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

"It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets,'" Smith said in the letter.

Goldman's said in its official response on Wednesday that the bank disagreed with the views expressed, "which we don't think reflect the way we run our business."

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar in HONG KONG, Emi Emoto in TOKYO and Narayanan Somasundaram in SYDNEY; Writing by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Chris Lewis and Edmund Klamann)