JP Morgan, Deutsche extend multi-dealer chatroom bans: sources

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:04am EST
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By Jamie McGeever and Anirban Nag

LONDON (Reuters) - JP Morgan Chase (JPM.N: Quote) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) are extending bans on the use of multi-dealer online chatrooms, sources familiar with the plans told Reuters, as banks crack down on potentially inappropriate communications following a string of scandals.

Chatrooms have been a focus for regulators investigating manipulation of benchmark interest rates and possible rigging in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange (FX) market.

A source familiar with developments at JP Morgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said the decision was unrelated to the FX probes which surfaced in June, noting chatrooms had been under review at the bank since earlier this year.

"This has always been about more than FX," the source said, adding that the casual nature of online chatrooms increased the potential for "inappropriate" remarks to be made.

The ban will come into force later this week and the use of such chatrooms among staff for social purposes will also be prohibited.

Deutsche Bank will widen a ban on multilateral chatrooms already in place for its foreign exchange and fixed income staff.

It will now extend to all its corporate banking and securities businesses, including equities.

"It's basically across the whole investment bank," said a source familiar with the matter, adding that the ban will come into force on January 1, 2014.   Continued...

A trader works at the JP Morgan stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid