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Regulatory Sanctions

The JPMorgan London Whale Resurfaces

March 15, 2017

[Photo: appeared in a 2013 LinkedIn article about the London Whale, written by Sallie Krawcheck]


The JPMorgan ‘London Whale’ scandal of 2012 cost the bank over $7.1 billion in trading losses and regulatory penalties, along with a blow to the reputations of the bank and its Chief Executive Jamie Dimon. Both have recovered nicely, thank you. But there apparently is one matter that is still outstanding. Potential legal action against the ‘London Whale’ himself, Bruno Iksil.


Iksil, 49, the former trader in JPMorgan’s London-based Chief Investment Office, has been ‘hiding out’ in France - at home with his family in France, about 50 miles south of Paris - for these past 5 years. The time away afforded him protection from prosecution.


Since going into hiding, Iksil signed a deal in 2013 with the U.S. Department of Justice - in which he agreed to give evidence in proceedings against 2 of his colleagues in exchange for the DOJ’s assurance that it would not seek prosecution. He also assisted the SEC with its investigation into the London whale affair. Then in 2015, U.K regulators disbanded its investigation. With those developments, it looked as though the ‘coast was clear.’


But in January, Mr. Iksil learned that the Federal Reserve could still seek to prosecute Mr. Iksil for his actions. And, in fact, the Fed is considering legal action – but it must act quickly because the 5-year statute of limitations ends this month on Iksil’s alleged wrongdoing. Should the Fed proceed with legal action, Mr. Iksil could ultimately face regulatory fines and sanctions – including a ban from the industry.


In response, Bruno Iksil said in a recent interview that he’s ready to accept that challenge.


“I have to fight.. I have no choice ….”


The truth has to be told.”


“I have to retrieve my reputation, my intellectual property and, simply, my life …”


That said, Mr. Iksil’s fate – both professionally and personally - depends on what the Federal Reserve chooses to do.


Stay tuned these next 2 weeks.