JPMorgan said to settle CFTC London Whale probe for $100 million

Total settlements surpass $1 billion

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay about $100 million to settle a Commodity Futures Trading Commission probe into the bank’s botched derivatives bets last year, according to people briefed on the matter.

The deal, which would bring the firm’s total settlements in the episode to more than $1 billion, may be announced as early as this week, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks were confidential. The accord resolves a CFTC assertion that the firm’s trading amounted to a “manipulative device,” the people said. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman for the New York-based bank, declined to comment.

JPMorgan agreed last month to pay $920 million to resolve related U.S. and U.K. probes into its internal controls and handling of the trades, which inflicted at least $6.2 billion in losses last year. The company said at the time that the CFTC also threatened to bring a case. The agency’s inquiry looked into whether the trades manipulated markets, a person with knowledge of the matter said then.

The accords don’t end all of the investigations of the trades managed by Bruno Iksil, the Frenchman known as the London Whale because of the size of his bets. The Securities and Exchange Commission has said its inquiry remains open while the U.S. Justice Department runs a parallel probe. Iksil, who prosecutors have said is cooperating with their case, hasn’t been charged.

The CFTC accord stipulates JPMorgan admit its transactions amounted to illegal market behavior on one specific day, the New York Times reported today, citing people briefed on the talks. While the CFTC’s order may also reference other trades, JPMorgan isn’t expected to admit or deny wrongdoing in those instances, the newspaper said.

The Wall Street Journal reported the settlement amount earlier today.

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