JP MorganChase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) finds itself in front of regulators yet again for misdeeds.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Dimon was in Washington yesterday (Thursday) attempting to broker a settlement over the bank's sale of substandard mortgages.
Dimon met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about a possible $11 billion settlement in attempts to end criminal and civil charges over JPM's questionable mortgage practices. The U.S. Justice Department said earlier in the week it could file a lawsuit over one of the bank's pending mortgage cases.
An $11 billion settlement would be the highest deal struck by the Justice Department with a single company, reported The Wall Street Journal.
JPM and federal and state authorities have discussed the bank paying as much as $7 billion in cash and $4 billion in consumer relief. Monday, JPM offered a $3 billion settlement, which Holder swiftly rejected.
"I don't really want to get into the nature of the conversations, the discussion that we had," Holder told the Washington Post. But it "is a priority for this Justice Department to hold accountable people who would manipulate companies, who would manipulate our financial markets for their own customer's benefit of for the benefit of the companies."
The meeting between Dimon, CEO of the nation's largest bank, and Holder, the highest ranking U.S. law enforcement official, highlights the ongoing quest to pin down responsibility for the 2008 financial crisis. Investigations into misconduct involving mortgage securities, a move that crippled the housing market and crushed global markets, continue some five years later.
And JPM has never been far from the spotlight.
As The Journal wrote, "Trying to keep an accurate tally of the government investigations of J.P. Morgan has become a full-time job."
This week alone, The Journal counted seven ongoing Justice Department investigations, plus several inquires at other agencies.
JPM a Regulator Target
Able to avoid the worst losses in the financial crisis, and emerging in much better shape than the bulk of its peers, JPMorgan has found itself in the spotlight since May 2012, when it lost more than $6.2 billion on derivative bets gone bad in the "London Whale Trade."