JPMorgan says some employees have ‘fallen short’ as bank probes relief abuses

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., listens during a Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit discussion in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2018.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase welcomed employees back from a long holiday weekend with a troubling message in their inboxes: Some of them may have been involved in potentially illegal activity.

The bank’s operating committee, led by CEO Jamie Dimon, sent an email Tuesday morning to 256,710 employees saying that while the pandemic has brought out the best in many workers, there have been instances where customers abused the government’s coronavirus relief programs.

“Unfortunately, we’ve also seen conduct that does not live up to our business and ethical principles — and may even be illegal,” the bank’s committee said. “This includes instances of customers misusing Paycheck Protection Program loans, unemployment benefits and other government programs. Some employees have fallen short, too.”

The government’s mammoth $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package included the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, enhanced unemployment benefits for individuals and support for larger companies. Fraud experts had expected that a program of that size would result in some element of abuse, and cases have emerged where criminals used PPP funds to purchase Lamborghinis and other luxury items.

But PPP had been designed by the Treasury Department as essentially an honor system that put most of the onus on the applicants, who had to certify on the need for these loans, and not the banks or its employees. JPMorgan spokeswoman Trish Wexler declined to comment on exactly how bank employees had fallen short in their duties.  

We are doing all we can to identify those instances, and cooperate with law enforcement where appropriate,” the bank said. “We want you to know because we need everyone to be vigilant.”

Lawmakers have been at an impasse over extending several key elements of the pandemic relief program, and new revelations of abuse may not help in those negotiations. JPMorgan, the largest U.S. lender by assets, was the biggest issuer of PPP loans, doling out more than $29 billion in the program. Bloomberg reported on the memo earlier.

With reporting from CNBC’s Jim Forkin

Source link




One technique for staying upbeat during the pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, it can be difficult to remain upbeat.Aside from the health implications and associated financial stressors, uncertainty over...

John Lamm’s Remembrance of a Special Race

In conjunction with NASCAR Productions, the MotorTrend Group recently pulled together a documentary on the Motor Trend 500 called The MotorTrend 500: NASCAR...

This map shows how Biden won back Pennsylvania in the 2020 election

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a drive-in campaign event at Bucks County Community College in Bristol, Pennsylvania,...

September job growth should be less than August as final report before the election hits

A help wanted sign is posted at a taco stand in Solana Beach, California.Mike Blake | ReutersJob growth in September was expected to...

5 things to know before the stock market opens Feb. 23, 2021

Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:1. Nasdaq set to sink again as...