May 6 JPMorgan Chase & Co is closing the
accounts of current and former foreign government officials in
an attempt to avoid the compliance costs associated with them,
the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
The ban by the largest U.S. bank by assets, which affects
3,500 accounts, has prompted former Colombia finance minister
Jose Antonio Ocampo to accuse it of discrimination in a
complaint to the consumer regulator, the report said.
According to the FT article, JPMorgan said it was closing
the Chase accounts and stopping the credit cards of the
officials because of increased compliance costs. Banks are
obliged to subject accounts of "politically exposed persons" to
Ocampo, an economist who was also nominated to become World
Bank president, has written to the U.S. Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau to complain that he was a victim of
discrimination, the FT report states.
The ban does not apply to JPMorgan's private bank, which
caters to wealthy clients, the FT quoted a person familiar with
the situation as saying.
Brian Marchiony, a JPMorgan spokesman, could not be
immediately reached for comment on the report outside regular
U.S. business hours.
(Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore. Editing by Andre Grenon)