Feb 6 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co is under federal scrutiny over hiring the son of China’s current commerce minister, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal emails.
The investment bank hired Gao Jue, son of Gao Hucheng, despite several issues including his poor performance in job interviews, the Journal reported. (on.wsj.com/1D5Euhd)
JPMorgan’s decision to hire Gao was “widely understood” within the company to have been supported by William Daley, a senior executive at the time and a former U.S. commerce secretary and White House chief of staff, the Journal reported.
Daley worked at JPMorgan from 2004 to 2010 and reported to Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
Gao Jue started work in the summer of 2007. He currently works at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, the report said.
Gao Hucheng, who was promoted to minister in March 2013, offered to “go extra miles” for the investment bank if it spared his son during a major layoff, the report said.
The hiring is under scrutiny from U.S. authorities who are investigating the Asian hiring practices of JPMorgan and other banks, the report said.
Federal prosecutors view Gao Jue’s hiring as a potential violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the investigation.
The bank, Daley, Gao Hucheng and his son are not accused of any wrongdoing, the report said.
Gao Jue’s name hasn’t previously been reported in connection with the hiring probe, which JPMorgan disclosed in a 2013 regulatory filing.
A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on the report. A Goldman Sachs spokesman also declined comment.
The Chinese commerce ministry is not a client of JPMorgan nor a banking regulator, but can rule on mergers among multinational companies that do business in China, the report said.
The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are expected to reach a settlement with JPMorgan related to the U.S. antibribery law. The settlement may involve a fine and warrant an overhaul of the bank’s hiring practices, the report said. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)