JP Morgan still in talks with DOJ on settlement

No official word yet and both sides eager to get what they want

After initial rumblings that JP Morgan Chase was in talks with multiple government agencies to settle out of court over bad mortgage securities the bank offered during the run up to the financial crisis, not much has changed. Both sides are remaining tight lipped about details of an agreement, and any suspected deals are still fully capable of imploding.

Thus far, it has been reported that JP offered to pay roughly $11 billion to clear itself of a potential suit in California. $7 billion of that would be paid out in fines to the Justice Department and $4 billion would go to struggling homeowners.

This settlement could allow JP Morgan to avoid costly litigation from multiple government entities that could tie the bank up in court for years.  The settlement would be the largest in history for a single company.

An hour-long meeting on Sept. 26 between JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Attorney General is seen as a positive sign of things moving forward. Questions remain as to whether or not the amount JP has offered to pay is enough.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Among the biggest sticking points is whether J.P. Morgan will admit wrongdoing as part of a settlement.” This is something that the government has been pushing for. JP is also reportedly hoping to win a guarantee that follow up investigations from other entities and agencies will be halted as a result of the payout, but there has been no word on whether this is part of the conversation or not.

All of this comes in what has been a bumpy month for JP, with the bank already having agreed to pay fines in excess of a billion dollars related to a derivative trading scandal and a credit card marketing violation, while still under investigation for the former.

Talks are expected to go well in to next week, but we’ll have more as soon as official word on this huge settlement has been released.

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