JPMorgan Chase has shocked the markets by revealing a trading loss of over two billion dollars.
It admitted there had been “errors” and “bad judgement” while it was attempting to protect itself against losses through a process known as hedging.
The losses could increase by another one billion, the bank said.
The incident is particularly embarrassing because JPMorgan Chase’s boss, Jamie Dimon, has been strongly critical of the so-called Volcker rule which would limit such risky trading by big banks.
Markets analyst Brenda Kelly said this will hit the reputation of Dimon and the bank: “I think it’s not a good move. At the end of day this guy did pride himself on being able to weather the storm over the last few years; and this is something – especially in the height of where regulations are taking place and with the Volcker rule due to come into effect in July – that does not bode well for the actual bank itself.”
The effects of the mistakes by JPMorgan – which is the biggest US bank in terms of assets – rippled through the financial world.
For many it revived memories of 2008 when big banks’ risky best threatened to collapse the financial system.
JPMorgan shares fell by 9.5 percent as the NYSE opened on Friday and dragged other financial shares lower including Bank of America and Citigroup. European banking stocks also declined.
Although the loss was specific to JPMorgan, it could have broader negative implications – raising the threat of further regulatory scrutiny.