Upon issuing its largest fine ever, the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority says it is ordering J.P.Morgan Securities Ltd. to pay $48.7 million for breaching Client Money Rules that are there to make sure that financial organizations properly protect clients’ funds. FSA claims that between November 1, 2002 and July 8, 2009, JPMSL failed to segregate billions of dollars-between $1.96 billion and $23 billion-that belonged to its clients.
PER FSA’s Final Notice on May 25, JPMSL, one of the largest holders of client money in the UK, held its futures and options business’s client in a JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. unsegregated account. The mistake was a breach of the financial service regulator’s Principle 10 and the Client Money Rules. The rules require that client funds be held in a segregated account overnight.
FSA says that JPMSL’s error would have placed clients at “significant risk” if the investment bank were to ever become insolvent. During the insolvency process, the clients would not have been able to claim from a “pool of protected client money” because they would have been “classed as general unsecured creditors.
FSA says that when determining JMPSL’s penalty, the facts that JMPSL’s misconduct wasn’t intentional and that no clients sustained any financial losses because of the mistake were factored into account.
Related Web Resources:
FSA levies largest ever fine of £33.32m on J.P.Morgan Securities Ltd for client money breaches, FSA.Gov.UK, June 3, 2010
F.S.A. Clamps Down on Client Money Rules, New York Times, June 8, 2010
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