U.S. investigators have launched a probe into investment house JPMorgan over claims it hired children of influential Chinese officials to boost business in the country.
One claim is that it hired the son of a one-time bank regulator, now head of investment firm China Everbright.
Over the weekend, the New York Times newspaper reported that, after the chairman’s son joined the bank, JPMorgan won several assignments from Everbright.
The paper also said JPMorgan’s Hong Kong office had employed the daughter of a Chinese railway official as The China Railway Group chose the bank to advise it on a public flotation in 2007.
It added that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) request for information did not show any direct link between the bank’s hiring policy and any business that followed.
There is also no suggestion that the employees were not suitable for the positions they were hired to fill, or that they helped secure business.
News of the SEC Division of Enforcement’s request for information had appeared earlier this month in routine filing.
“A request from the SEC Division of Enforcement seeking information and documents relating to, among other matters, the Firm’s employment of certain former employees in Hong Kong and its business relationships with certain clients,” the document stated.
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