Three news to start your week: March 18

Get updates on EFG settling US sanctions violations, JPMorgan's fine for inadequate trade reporting, and China's crackdown on financial crime.

Three news to start your week: March 18

Swiss private bank EFG to settle US sanctions violations

(The Wall Street Journal)

EFG International will pay around $3.7 million to settle accusations that the Swiss bank violated US sanctions by managing securities for blacklisted individuals, according to the US Treasury Department.

Between 2014 and 2018, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control reported that EFG, based in Zurich, processed 868 securities transactions. These transactions involved customers from Cuba and a Chinese national who was blacklisted for foreign narcotics trafficking. EFG processed five dividend payments in 2023 for someone blocked under sanctions for Russia's anti-democratic activities abroad. The US has a comprehensive economic embargo on Cuba.

In total, the unlawful transactions amounted to $30.4 million.

EFG is a private bank that managed assets worth 146.5 billion Swiss francs ($165.7 billion) as of June. It offers financial services, such as banking, investment, asset management, and securities brokering, to institutional customers and individuals globally.


JPMorgan fined nearly $350 million for inadequate trade reporting


JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been fined $348.2 million by two US bank regulators for its inadequate program to monitor firm and client trading activities for market misconduct, the Federal Reserve said today.

The Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) fined the bank for misconduct from 2014 to 2023. The OCC said JPMorgan didn't correctly monitor billions of trades across at least 30 global trading venues.

A bank spokesperson stated that the company acknowledged the problem and is working to fix it. They do not anticipate any disruptions to client services. In addition, there was no evidence of employee misconduct or harm to clients or the broader market, the spokesperson added.

In February, JPMorgan announced that it would pay around $350 million in civil penalties for not providing complete trading data to surveillance platforms. It stated it was also in "advanced negotiations" with a third unnamed regulator at the time, but a resolution may not result.


More than 340 in corruption net as China's top prosecutors double down on tackling financial crime

(South China Morning Post)

The top prosecutor's office has charged hundreds of members of China's finance sector with professional crimes like insider trading, marking a renewed effort to enhance monitoring within the industry.

An article published on its website on Sunday revealed that the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) has taken decisive action against corruption and dereliction of duty in the sector. In 2023, over 340 individuals were charged, an impressive increase of nearly 35 percent year over year.

Prosecutors focused on preventing and handling economic and financial risks. They specifically targeted corruption in the financial sector and crimes like neglect of duty and misuse of power by staff working in financial oversight departments.