JPMorgan Probed Over Hiring Practices in China

SEC investigates hire of powerful Chinese official's kids

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 18, 2013 1:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – Still under scrutiny for the London Whale fiasco, JPMorgan is now facing a new scandal: the SEC's anti-bribery unit is apparently now investigating whether the bank hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help it win business in the Middle Kingdom. The New York Times has its hands on a confidential government document that it says shows the SEC has been requesting documents about particular hires in China, including the son of the chairman of financial conglomerate the China Everbright Group, and the daughter of a Chinese railway official.

Since hiring these kids, Everbright has become one the bank's major clients, and JPMorgan was hired to manage the $5-billion IPO of the state-run China Railway Group, the Wall Street Journal reports. Of course, there is nothing inherently illegal about hiring these so-called "princelings," and no one so far has been accused of wrongdoing, but an expert on the corrupt practices act tells the Times it may raise some red flags "if the person hired was not qualified for the position, or, for example, if a firm never received business before and then lo and behold, the hire brought in business."

People stand in the lobby of JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York.
People stand in the lobby of JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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