JPMorgan must face lawsuit over Lehman investments

A pension fund has accused the bank of investing in unsecured Lehman notes, which subsequently lost 85 percent of their value

It’s been four and a half years since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed, but fallout from the bank’s failure is still continuing, as JPMorgan Chase & Co. found out in court on Wednesday.

A federal judge ruled that JPMorgan must face a lawsuit brought by the Operating Engineers Pension Trust (OEPT) of Pasadena, California, which is accusing the bank of making faulty investments in unsecured Lehman notes.

According to the pension plan, OETP entered into a 2005 agreement to loan securities to JPMorgan, which then loaned those securities to borrowers in exchange for cash collateral. The bank reportedly agreed to manage that money conservatively, but then invested it in an entity that held Lehman notes—notes that lost 85 percent of their value when Lehman went under in 2008.

The pension trust says that JPMorgan did all this in an attempt to back Lehman without using its own money. JPMorgan, however, contends that it monitored its Lehman investments, and did sell some of its securities, Thomson Reuters reports.

Another district judge dismissed the case last April, ruling that JPMorgan had met the “prudent man” standard, which requires fiduciaries to act “with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence” that a prudent man would use in the same circumstances. But she did allow the pension fund to refile the current version of the claim.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the financial industry, see:

BofA enters multibillion dollar settlements with Fannie Mae

JPMorgan, Credit Suisse settle mortgage bond charges for $417 million

JPMorgan sued for fraud over mortgage securities

CME Group faces criticism over Dodd-Frank lawsuit

U.S. government files $1 billion suit against Bank of America

Barney Frank defends JPMorgan against government lawsuit

Alanna Byrne

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