A former JPMorgan Chase executive was charged in Hong Kong for bribing an executive of another firm by offering his son a job through the bank’s “Sons and Daughters” hiring program in Asia.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, a former vice chairwoman of JPMorgan’s Asia-Pacific Investment banking business, Catherine Leung Kar-cheung, was charged with bribery by the city’s anti-graft agency. The Independent Commission Against Corruption said Leung offered jobs to executives the bank was doing business with. The two jobs were in connection with the initial public offering of an unnamed logistics company, according to the report, and were made in 2010 and 2011. The former JPMorgan executive was released on bail, reported the paper, noting she’s due in court on May 20. Leung and another executive were forced out of the bank after an investigation into hiring practices at JPMorgan’s Asia offices. Leung eventually landed at Serica Partners Asia as a hedge fund manager.
Under the Sons and Daughters program, bankers offered internships and jobs to relatives of existing clients or prospective ones. It was part of an effort to win investment banking business in Asia, according to the report, which said from 2006 to 2013 the bank hired 200 people through the program, including 100 that came based on recommendations from officials in Chinese state-owned enterprises. Some of the people who were hired lacked the qualifications for the jobs they were given through the program.
The U.S. became involved with a lengthy investigation of the program, with JPMorgan admitting in 2016 that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It agreed to pay a $264 million fine. That covered civil and criminal charges stemming from the practice. JPMorgan fired or disciplined more than 24 employees as a result of the scandal.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, the bank said, “We strengthened our compliance procedures and controls around hiring and reinforced the high standards of conduct expected of our people.”