The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether JPMorgan Chase & Co inappropriately steered private-banking clients to its own investment products and away from those offered by outside firms, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
The civil inquiry by the SEC’s enforcement division is parallel to one launched several months ago by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), people familiar with the matter told the publication.
The OCC began questioning bank executives several months ago about the percentage of clients’ assets that were being directed to JPMorgan’s own funds and products instead of third-party options, the Journal said.
The regulator routinely monitors banks’ sales of in-house financial products to clients.
"We manage a variety of portfolios based on a client’s investment objectives, and the mix of solutions varies, is dynamic and transparent," the publication quoted Darin Oduyoye, a JPMorgan spokesman, as saying.
"Our clients have countless options in selecting financial providers. They come to JPMorgan because of our long-term investments track record and the depth and breadth of our platform," Oduyoye added.