London Police Investigating Possible Hazmat Situation

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EDT September 19, 2013 Bank seeks to put 2012 embarrassment behind it by reaching settlements with four regulators at once. People in lobby of JPMorgan Chase’s New York City headquarters in 2012 file photo (Photo: Mark Lenihan, AP) Bank lost $6.2 billion on failed London whale trading strategy JPMorgan admits violating securities laws, having inadequate accounting controls Criminal investigation and CFTC civil probe continuing SHARE 361 CONNECT 89 TWEET 19 COMMENTEMAILMORE JPMorgan Chase admitted wrongdoing and was fined roughly $920 million Thursday for its “London whale” trading debacle as the U.S.-based global bank settled investigations by four oversight agencies. The settlements stopped short of assessing blame against any top executives at the nation’s largest bank and JPMorgan still faces at least two continuing investigations. The rare admission of fault and one of the largest bank fines in history focus on an early 2012 episode in which the bank’s London-based traders amassed large and risky investment positions in an effort to avoid losses in a credit portfolio. The positions were so big they drew attention from other firms’ traders, who dubbed Bruno Iksil, the chief JPMorgan trader involved, “the London whale.” The bank initially asserted that the trades, which ultimately racked up an estimated $6.2 billion in losses, had been a hedge against risk. But the strategy instead morphed into proprietary trading for the bank’s benefit partly funded with federally insured deposits. In trying to move past the incident, JPMorgan publicly acknowledged that it had violated federal securities laws and conceded that the losses occurred against a backdrop of deficient accounting controls. The bank also acknowledged that senior management knew that London traders were using a valuation system designed to minimize the size of the losses. JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses. SEC official George Canellos The settlements require improvements in internal oversight by the bank’s board of directors, steps to remedy “unsafe and unsound” banking practices, plus upgraded audit functions. “JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses,”said George Canellos, co-director of the enforcement division at the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the regulators involved in the settlements. “While grappling with how to fix its internal control breakdowns, JPMorgan’s senior management broke a cardinal rule of corporate governance and deprived its board of critical information it needed to fully assess the company’s problems and determine whether accurate and reliable information was being disclosed to investors and regulators.” Investigators echoed a scathing Senate report that earlier this year concluded JPMorgan had kept bank regulators in the dark about the losses by withholding important information. “Bank management must also ensure open and effective communication with supervisors so that we can effectively do our jobs,” said Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry in a statement issued with his agency’s settlement filing. “Anything less is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” The Federal Reserve, and Financial Conduct Authority in Great Britain also settled their investigations with the bank.

(WKYT) – We’re tracking a traffic alert in Laurel County. The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office issued a travel advisory Tuesday afternoon for East 4th street and Tobacco Road in London, after reports of an explosion and dangerous vapors in the area. Police are asking drivers to avoid the area until a hazmat team arrives on scene to investigate. The Laurel County Emergency Management Director is traveling from Somerset to examine two barrels found in a reported stolen trailer hooked up to a pickup. After being tipped off, Laurel County Deputies were able to arrest one suspect for possession of the stolen trailer. Deputies tell us they recognized the driver as a wanted suspect and took him into custody during a traffic stop. We’re told that’s when deputies noticed an odor coming from the trailer. Inside they found two barrels of a chemical they have tentatively identified as a resin solution. We’re told the solution is highly flammable and the vapors can be hazardous. Police tell us they are not sure if the containers are leaking. Police have blocked off all roads in the east London area.