Wall Street regulators are examining alleged policy breaches that prompted JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s U.S. head of government-bond trading and another employee to leave the firm this year, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Andy Lombara and the other trader were “permitted to resign” in January after JPMorgan found they “did not adhere to certain control processes,” according to their public employment records at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees U.S. brokerages. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a preliminary inquiry into the matter, the person said, asking not to be identified because the review is confidential.
A spokesman for the SEC and an attorney for Lombara didn’t immediately respond to messages outside normal business hours.
The traders left after a disagreement with JPMorgan’s valuation committee over reserves taken for Treasury Strips, which separate interest and principal payments on the debt, the Financial Times wrote earlier Sunday in a report on the SEC inquiry.
The pair had sought to boost reserves and eventually tried to go around the panel to do so, a move that the bank deemed a violation of procedures, according to the newspaper, which said it couldn’t determine why they had wanted higher reserves. The SEC may yet conclude that no further action is warranted, the newspaper said.
Finra also is examining the circumstances behind how JPMorgan described their exits in the brokerage records, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Michelle Ong, a Finra spokeswoman, declined to comment.