May 7 JPMorgan Chase & Co said on
Wednesday it was closing the U.S. accounts of current and former
foreign government officials to avoid the high compliance costs
associated with these accounts.
The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that the bank was
closing Chase accounts and stopping credit cards of foreign
officials because of the costs associated with additional
scrutiny for these accounts. (r.reuters.com/huj29v)
"This decision is not a reflection on how these customers
have handled their accounts, but rather a result of our focus on
internal controls - our number one priority right now," Lauren
Francis, a spokeswoman for bank, said in an emailed statement.
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 FT reported.
The ban does not apply to JPMorgan's private bank, which
caters to wealthy clients, the FT report quoted a person
familiar with the situation as saying.
(Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb