Large banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) are planning to block their traders from chat rooms. Traders use computer chat rooms to communicate with their colleagues at other banks. Regulators have found that traders have used chat rooms to discuss their trading positions and subsequent market manipulation.
JPMorgan examining chat room uses
After paying hefty fines for their involvement in the Libor scandal, big banks are reviewing the use of chat rooms. Sources familiar with the matter told Jenny Strasburg of The Wall Street Journal that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) has been examining chat room use for several months. The Jamie Dimon-led bank is evaluating if emails and one-to-one phone calls can be more effective. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) plans to complete its review in the first quarter of 2014. The bank executives are reviewing trading operations on New York, London and Asia to assess how a change in the mode of communication will affect client and trading activities.
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Big banks fear disclosure of chat transcripts
Traders communicate with each other and their clients through their Bloomberg terminals. Investigators found that traders and brokers used their chat rooms to discuss drugs and sex, and engaged in crude banter. Big banks have seen their reputation being tarnished after Libor manipulation. Banks fear that investigators may publicly disclose the embarrassing chat transcripts. So far, banks have collectively paid more than $3.5 billion in Libor manipulation fines.
A few months ago, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) shifted some of its forex traders from Bloomberg chat terminals to an internal system. It would improve security and reduce expenses, said Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C). The bank’s move came at a time when big banks accused Bloomberg of data privacy breaches.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) shares fell 0.28% to $53.81 at 9:39 AM EST. The stock is up 22.4% this year so far.