UPDATE 1-JPMorgan CEO Dimon says government cases were "unfair"

Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:25am EST

Jan 23 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said on Thursday that government legal cases, including those over mortgage securities the company settled for more than $13 billion, were "unfair".

Dimon, speaking on CNBC in a pre-recorded interview from Davos, Switzerland, said most of the government claims against the company were for dealings that took place at companies before JPMorgan bought them in the financial crisis.

"I think a lot of it was unfair, but I am not going to go into the details," Dimon said in the television interview.

JPMorgan agreed last year to pay $13 billion to settle multiple government claims over dealings in mortgage securities at JPMorgan and at two banks it took over during the crisis, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

It also settled other assorted cases for about $7 billion more. Those included allegations stemming from derivatives and electric power trading and sales of extra products to credit card customers.

Dimon said JPMorgan had "two really bad options" in choosing to settle or fight the cases. Going to court could have taken three or four years and the outcome could have been worse, he said.

"It would really hurt this company and that would have been criminal for me to subject our company to those kinds of issues," Dimon said.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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