Former JPMorgan Chase executive Achilles Macris was fined $1.1 million for failing to tell authorities about concerns he had with the bank's activities in the "London Whale" case.
Macris, the former head of the bank's international chief investment office in London, was sanctioned for failing to inform regulators about concerns with a portfolio related to what became known as the London Whale trades, the Financial Conduct Authority said Tuesday. The 54-year-old Macris described the decision as "a major climb-down" by the regulator after it had previously said he deliberately misled authorities.
JPMorgan was fined 138 million pounds in 2013 after a trader nicknamed the London Whale incurred $6.2 billion in losses. Macris has been fighting the regulator for months claiming he was identifiable in the bank settlement report and the allegations against him were wrong.
The FCA changed its allegations in Tuesday's sanction notice to reduced claims that he was merely negligent. As a result, he received a 30% discount on the fine, rather than the 20% he was eligible for given the late stage of negotiations.
The settlement report "issued to JPMorgan by the FCA in 2013 wrongly and unfairly accused me of deliberately misleading" regulators, Macris said in an e-mailed statement. "That notice was released to the public without the FCA ever having properly heard my side of the story. Today the FCA has finally accepted that this allegation against me was utterly wrong."
Two London courts have ruled in Macris's favor in his fight with regulators, agreeing he was improperly identified in the JPMorgan settlement notice. The FCA is appealing the case to the Supreme Court in October. If a person is identified in a notice they have the right to see and respond to any allegations before they're made public.
The actual London Whale, former JPMorgan trader Bruno Iksil, escaped a 1 million-pound fine from the FCA entirely last year. The regulator sent Iksil a letter in July telling him it was dropping its investigation without giving a reason.
In the Macris case, the regulator said that between March 28 and April 29, 2012, the JPMorgan executive didn't discuss concerns with the synthetic credit portfolio at a meeting with the watchdog, the FCA said. While Macris disclosed some problems, he didn't disclose "the full extent of the difficulties."
"A failure to communicate openly with us can affect the well-running of markets and cause unnecessary harm to investors, especially in times of financial stress," Mark Steward, FCA director of enforcement and market oversight, said in a statement. "Macris should have explained the position more squarely."