J.P. Morgan Chase 'Nearing Conclusion' of Settlement Talks Over Forex Probe

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) said in a regulatory filing Thursday that a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over claims of foreign-exchange manipulation appears imminent.

J.P. Morgan, along with Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS), (UBS), and Royal Bank of Scotland  (RBS), have been under review in a wide-ranging investigation into whether the banks colluded to rig the price of foreign currencies.

It has been widely reported that the banks are expected to announce settlements in coming days. Penalties are expected to total several billion dollars. J.P. Morgan and Citigroup settled with U.S. and U.K. authorities over similar charges last November with each bank paying a combined total of over $1 billion to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority.

Last week, J.P. Morgan said in a regulatory filing that it was in "advanced discussions" with the Justice Department. In Thursday's filing, the bank said that discussions were nearing their conclusion and it also acknowledged that the Justice Department would require it to plead guilty to an antitrust charge.

In his annual letter to shareholders, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon discussed the financial burden of having to answer to multiple regulatory bodies on the same issue.

"Part of the issue around legal costs is that banks are now frequently paying penalties to five or six different regulators (both domestic and international) on exactly the same issue," he wrote. "This is an unprecedented approach that probably warrants a serious policy discussion -- especially if those regulators (as at least some of them have acknowledged) don't take into account what is being paid to the others. For now, it's simply a reality for big banks, and certainly for us, that when one or more employees do something wrong, we'll hear from multiple regulators on the subject."

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