U.S. probe of JPMorgan hiring in China involves ex-premier's daughter - NYTimes

Reuters

HONG KONG, Nov 14 (Reuters) - An investigation by U.S.authorities into JPMorgan's hiring practices in Chinainvolves a business relationship between the Wall Street bankand a consultancy firm run by the daughter of China's formerpremier, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

Citing documents, public filings and interviews, thenewspaper said JPMorgan had a contract with a consultancy run byLily Chang, and which appeared to have only one other employee,and paid the firm $75,000 a month. The paper said Chang is thealias of Wen Ruchun, the only daughter of Wen Jiabao, who wasChina's premier, with oversight of financial institutions, atthe time the contract was agreed.

JPMorgan's ties to Wen's daughter are part of a widerbribery investigation by U.S. authorities into whether the bankswapped contracts and jobs in order to win business deals, thepaper said. News of that probe into JPMorgan's hiring in Chinafirst broke in August. The New York Times was first to reportthe nature of the investigation, later confirmed by Reuters.

In its August report, The New York Times said two of thebank's hires under investigation were of the son of the head ofa state-run financial conglomerate, and the daughter of a formerChinese railway official.

In its report on Thursday, the paper said Wen Ruchun'sconsulting firm, Fullmark Consultants, earned $1.8 million fromJPMorgan between 2006-08.

A spokeswoman for JPMorgan in Hong Kong said on Thursdaythat the bank is "cooperating fully with regulators". Shedeclined to comment further, but referred to the bank'squarterly regulatory filing in which it disclosed that theSecurities and Exchange Commission had asked the bank forinformation about Hong Kong employees and their businessrelationships with certain clients.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Wen Ruchun forcomment.

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