Fed examining other risks being taken by JPMorgan

Reuters News
Posted: May 14, 2012 9:46 PM

By Jonathan Spicer and Dave Clarke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is examining whether JPMorgan Chase & Co is taking risks elsewhere in the bank similar to the botched trading strategy that could cost the bank more than $2 billion, a Fed spokeswoman said on Monday.

The central bank is also reviewing whether the trading losses have any broader implications for how JPMorgan manages its risk, the spokeswoman said.

Regulators and bank officials are determining the exact details behind trades JPMorgan says were intended as hedges against credit risk but that could wind up costing the bank more than $2 billion. The bank announced the losses last week.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates national banks, said on Monday it is also examining the losses.

The Fed is the lead regulator for the broader bank holding company and all its units while the OCC has responsibility for overseeing the bank, including the Chief Investment Office where the losses occurred.

"The OCC is examining the bank's activities and is in continuous dialogue with bank personnel and other regulatory colleagues as we evaluate details related to the specific transactions as well as the surrounding risk management processes that resulted in this unexpected loss," an OCC spokesman said in a statement.

The OCC said it does not consider the losses to be a threat to the stability of JPMorgan.

The Fed spokeswoman pointed out that JPMorgan was able to suffer much deeper losses and still remain solvent under a stress test that large U.S. banks were put under by the Fed earlier this year.

The bank's ability to deal with the loss is evidence of the need for banks to be well capitalized, the spokeswoman said.

U.S. banks have complained that some new capital requirements go too far and will force them to cut back on their lending.

(Reporting By Jonathan Spicer and Dave Clarke; Editing by Gary Hill)