JPMorgan top China executive close to departing -WSJ

March 24 Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:08pm EDT

March 24 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co's chief executive for China investment banking Fang Fang has decided to leave the U.S. bank after more than a decade amid a probe of its Asian hiring practices, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

An internal announcement about Fang's departure could come as early as Monday, the financial daily reported, citing people familiar with the situation it did not identify.

Fang recently told the bank he wanted to retire, the Journal cited one of the people as saying. The newspaper added that it was not known why Fang wanted to step down now.

U.S. authorities have been investigating whether JPMorgan violated bribery laws by improperly hiring the relatives of well-connected Chinese officials.

JPMorgan has provided U.S. prosecutors with emails from Fang, who is also the bank's vice chairman of investment banking in Asia, discussing the hiring of China Everbright Group Chairman Tang Shuangning's son, the Journal reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecutors from the Justice Department are examining whether the son's employment helped JPMorgan win assignments from Everbright, it added.

Representatives for JPMorgan and China Everbright did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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