JPMorgan will pay a $200 million fine after admitting it failed to archive employee messages about work-related matters.
For years, JPMorgan employees — from analysts to top directors — used personal devices to discuss company matters and failed to keep the communications.
“JPMorgan’s failures hindered several Commission investigations and required the staff to take additional steps that should not have been necessary,” Sanjay Wadhwa, deputy director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in a statement announcing the fine.
The SEC mandates that financial institutions keep records of communication in case the agency needs to access the information for an investigation down the road.
“As technology changes, it’s even more important that registrants ensure that their communications are appropriately recorded and are not conducted outside of official channels in order to avoid market oversight,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler added.
The Wall Street giant headed by Jamie Dimon is paying the SEC $125 million and paying the Commodity Futures Trading Commission $75 million. Following the fine and admission of wrongdoing, JPMorgan has taken steps to ensure employees use company devices for work-related matters moving forward.
Earlier this year when regulators began looking into the matter, JPMorgan asked bankers, traders and financial advisers to review messages on personal devices dating back to the beginning of 2018.
The financial behemoth asked the rank and file to save any text that mentions work and every text to colleagues.
Employees were even ordered to scour their texts on encrypted apps like WhatsApp and WeChat that aren’t “tethered to work-surveillance systems.”
But then for workers who used the private messaging services to vent about office drama or work frustration, the mandate caused panic.