Regulation  

Fined JP Morgan trader slams ‘wasteful’ FCA

Fined JP Morgan trader slams ‘wasteful’ FCA

One of the bankers involved in the “London Whale” investigation has hit back at the Financial Conduct Authority after it slapped a six figure fine on him.

Earlier today (9 September) the regulator announced it would be fining Achilles Macris £792,900 for failing to inform it about concerns with the Synthetic Credit Portfolio he was responsible for.

But Mr Macris, the former head of JPMorgan’s CIO International, has accused the FCA of wasting public money and significantly damaging his reputation and career.

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He responded that today’s outcome represents a “major climb-down” by the regulator, after four years spent fighting to clear his name.

A spokesman for the FCA declined to comment on Mr Macris’ comments, other than to say the regulator is funded by fee payers.

Mr Macris said: “The FCA has had several opportunities to admit its mistakes, but instead, at every turn, it has until now sought to defend and justify its position, wasting public funds.

“I remain profoundly concerned about how the FCA, and in particular its enforcement staff, has acted.

“It made completely unfounded public allegations and assertions, without giving me a fair hearing, which it has now had to withdraw, but which have significantly damaged my reputation and career.”

Mr Macris added that he accepted the fine, so as not to prolong “a drawn out and burdensome process” on the basis that he would not be banned from the regulated sector.

In September 2013, JPMorgan was fined £137.6m as a result of the losses incurred by the Synthetic Credit Portfolio, which totalled $6.2bn (£4.3bn) by the end of 2012.

These losses occurred as a result of what became known as the “London Whale” trades, which were conducted by traders Javier Martin-Artajo and Bruno Iksil, but ultimately overseen by Mr Macris.

In 2013 Mr Macris complained that the FCA identified him in its highly critical assessment of the trading debacle, without giving him the chance to defend himself.

This was taken to the Upper Tribunal in April 2014 and then to the Court of Appeal last May, where a judge agreed with Mr Macris.

A further appeal in the Supreme Court is due to be held in autumn.

Mr Macris’s fine was handed down on the basis he had two opportunities in 2012 to inform the FCA of concerns about the portfolio, but the regulator said they did not do so.

He stated having already achieved two “significant court victories”, in which the FCA was found to have acted against the law in not giving me third party rights, that he looks forward to further vindication in the Supreme Court.

“If I succeed, the FCA will have to expunge from the JPMorgan notice the false and unfair statements made about me.”

Mr Macris left JPMorgan in July 2012 and is now “pursuing other interests”.