JP Morgan questioned on private bank impropriety: WSJ

Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:06pm EDT

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) executives have faced regulators' questions on whether private bank advisors guide clients to buy the firm's own financial products, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

As a result of the questioning regarding potential conflicts of interest, the New York-based bank has sharpened its disclosures to clients, the newspaper said, citing sources.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, one of JP Morgan's regulators, has been in discussions with the bank regarding the potential conflicts of interest in recent months, according to the report. The matter may still be open, the report said.

"Being transparent is part of our normal course of business and it's what drives our client communications," Darin Oduyoye, a spokesman for JP Morgan's asset-management unit, told Reuters on Sunday.

If brokers push clients to buy the in-house brand of financial product, rather than provide impartial financial advice, the bank could stand to benefit at the expense of the client.

JP Morgan's Private Bank advisors are paid salary and bonus, not commission, Oduyoye said.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting By Mike Stone; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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