NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) decided in May to divest its Henry Bath metal warehousing company after a three-year struggle to conform the business to banking regulations, according to letters received by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Here is a timeline of the significant events surrounding JPMorgan's negotiations with the Federal Reserve after the bank bought the business in 2010.
JPMorgan put its entire physical commodities trading business up for sale in July.
July 1, 2010 - JPMorgan acquires Henry Bath as part of its RBS Sempra purchase. Has two years under the Bank Holding Company Act to either sell the business or conform it as a passive merchant banking investment without operational control.
October 2010 - JPMorgan announces plans to launch a physically backed copper exchange-traded fund (ETF) that would use the metal as collateral stored in Henry Bath warehouses.
February 2012 - Reuters reports JPMorgan has drawn up a strategy to build a big metals stockpile in two Henry Bath locations and is trucking aluminum from a Glencore-owned warehouse to its own in Rotterdam.
June 29, 2012 - JPMorgan's commodity arm (JPMC) requests a one-year extension to the period it can hold Henry Bath, to "provide adequate time for JPMC to complete the necessary steps to conform its holding in Henry Bath to the requirements of merchant banking."
August 16, 2012 - Following conversations with Federal Reserve board staff, JPMC resubmits application. JPMC now requests a three-year extension.
November 16, 2012 - Federal Reserve approves a one-year extension to July 1, 2013. As a condition of the extension, the Fed asks JPMC to file a detailed plan by December 16, 2012 showing how it will conform to a merchant banking authority or divest Henry Bath by the summer. The Fed also requests that JPMC file quarterly reports detailing what it has done to conform, or divest the Henry Bath asset in accordance with this plan.
December 13, 2012 - JPMC files first quarterly report on what it has done to conform or divest Henry Bath.
March 27, 2013 - JPMC files second quarterly report to Fed detailing what it has done so far. The letter says the bank is trying to arrange a sale, and is working to dilute the percentage of metal in Henry Bath warehouses owned by JPMC.
"Strategic discussions with third parties, including various financial institutions, regarding and outright sale of a portion of JPMC's equity interest are continuing," the letter states.
"In addition, discussions have taken place with commodities companies regarding terms of arrangements to store significant quantities of metals in HB-operated warehouses, the effect of which if they were to be executed would be to decrease the average percentage holdings of metals in such warehouses that is owned by JPMC."
April 9, 2013 - Federal Reserve Bank of New York and JPMC lawyers hold a call.
May 1, 2013 - JPMC requests an additional one-year period, until June 30, 2014, to divest Henry Bath. All references to attempting to conform Henry Bath to a merchant banking investment have been dropped from the letter. "This extension will provide time for JPMC to continue efforts to divest Henry Bath."
May 20, 2013 - JPMC files Henry Bath divestiture plan for the first time. The Fed had originally requested the divestiture plan be filed by December 16, 2012.
May 7, 2013 - Federal Reserve Bank of New York and JPMC lawyers discuss the issue on a call.
June 27, 2013 - JPMC asks the London Metal Exchange to delist 21 warehouses, reducing its number of warehouses worldwide in the LME system to about 75.
July 11, 2013 - Federal Reserve grants a one-year extension of JPMC's approval to own Henry Bath, which will expire July 1, 2014. As a condition of the extension, the Fed asks JPMC to file an updated plan by August 1, 2013 showing how it will conform, or divest Henry Bath by the following summer. The Fed also requests that JPMC continues filing quarterly reports detailing what it has done to conform or divest the Henry Bath assets in accordance with this plan.
July 23, 2013 - The powerful U.S. Senate Banking committee puts Wall Street's multibillion-dollar commodity trading operations under the political spotlight during a hearing.
July 24, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Justice starts a preliminary probe into the metals warehousing industry following complaints that storage firms owned by Wall Street banks and major traders have inflated prices.
July 26, 2013 - JPMC announces it is selling its physical commodities business, including Henry Bath.
July 30, 2013 - FERC announces $410 million settlement with JPMC over allegations the bank manipulated California and Midwest electricity prices through its physical commodity traders and power generation assets.
August 5, 2013 - JPMorgan is named alongside other warehouse owners and the London Metal Exchange in a series of U.S. class action lawsuits alleging anti-competitive behavior in aluminum warehousing.
August 12, 2013 - U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission subpoenas major metals warehousing firms, including Switzerland-based commodities giant Glencore, seeking documents and communications from the last three years as part of an inquiry into complaints about inflated metals prices.
(Reporting by Josephine Mason in New York and David Sheppard in London; Editing by Richard Chang)