Sunday, 13 June 2010

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JP Morgan fined by FSA (UK)

JP Morgan has been fined £33m by the Financial Services Authority – the largest-ever fine imposed by the regulator – for basic compliance failures which meant the bank had not protected client money by segregating it from its own funds over a seven-year period.

The fine relates to up to $23bn (£15.6m) of client money held by JP Morgan's futures and options desk. "Had the firm become insolvent at any time during this period, this client money would have been at risk of loss," the FSA said.

JP Morgan fined £33m by Financial Services Authority

NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) shares held their own on one of Wall Street's worst days in months after a report that it would soon enter talks to settle fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Goldman officials declined to comment on a report by Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino that Wall Street's dominant firm was not interested in battling with regulators. The report cited sources that included an unidentified senior executive at the firm.

With investors betting that Goldman will settle with the SEC, shares ended down 5 cents at $149.45. The Dow dropped 2.02 percent.

"They are hoping they will put it behind them," said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager at Bahl and Gaynor. "They will have an actionable event. The costs will be defined. The risks will be quantified, and then they can go back to making money."

Goldman Sachs has been fined over allegations that it broke the short selling rules introduced to protect financial firms at the height of the market panic in 2008.

The bank agreed to pay $450,000 without admitting wrongdoing, after the New York Stock Exchange and the Securities & Exchange Commission said its traders broke short selling rules on 385 separate occasions.

The SEC imposed rules to prevent so-called "naked" short selling. A short sale is when a trader borrows stock to sell, in the expectation that they can pick it up cheaper later in time to return it, thus pocketing a profit. A naked short sale is when the seller doesn't even bother to borrow the stock, and regulators worried in 2008 that this was contributing to the downward pressure on financial company share prices, as well as causing dangerous administrative problems.

Goldman's trade execution and clearing business made failures of supervision and compliance with the rules between September 2008 and January the following year, the regulators allege.

The case comes on top of Goldman's escalating legal difficulties related to its mortgage derivatives business, where it faces an accumulating number of lawsuits from shareholders angry at the bank's activities in the run-up to the credit crisis and claiming they were kept in the dark about a fraud investigation.

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