Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

JP Morgan agrees $75m bribe fine

JP Morgan Chase offices
JP Morgan made bumper profits between July and September

US banking giant JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay a fine of $75m (£45.3m) to settle charges that it bribed local officials in the US state of Alabama.

As part of the settlement with US regulators, the bank also agreed to forfeit $647m in fees. It did not, however, admit or deny the charges.

The regulator has accused two former directors of making payments of $8m to friends of Jefferson County officials.

The county then selected JP Morgan to underwrite its bond offerings.

"The transactions were complex but the scheme was simple," the Securities and Exchange Commission said.

"Senior JP Morgan bankers made unlawful payments to win business and earn fees."

The bank will pay a penalty of $25m and a payment of $50m to Jefferson County.

Last month, JP Morgan, which is the second-biggest bank in the US, announced profits of $3.6bn between July and September.

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