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JPMorgan discloses wider probes of hiring, currency trading

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, disclosed on Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice and agencies from other jurisdictions are investigating hiring practices in Hong Kong that were already being probed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company also said that it is being questioned about its currency trading by various authorities, which are in the early stages of their investigations.

Other big banks have made similar disclosures recently about probes of possible manipulation of foreign exchange rates.

JPMorgan also gave more details about U.S. government investigations into the bank's relationship with convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. Two government offices, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are currently looking into the ties between Madoff and the bank.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is also investigating the bank's activities in the California and Midwest power markets that were the subject of a $410 million settlement between JPMorgan and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Additionally, the bank offered more specifics on the amount of claims that investors and bond insurers had over mortgage-backed securities. Total claims added up to approximately $117 billion, $88 billion of which involves Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, JPMorgan or its affiliates as an issuer and $29 billion of which involves the entities solely as underwriters.

The company made the statements in a quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

(Reporting by David Henry and Peter Rudegeair in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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