Former JPMorgan Exec Says Bank Fired Her for Raising Compliance Concerns

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Shakla Williams said she was concerned about whether the bank violated the terms of the agreement with US agencies

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Ms Williams joined JPMorgan’s global anti-corruption compliance team in New York in July 2018 and was fired in November 2019 for performance issues by the bank, according to her lawsuit complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.

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A JPMorgan spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ms Williams’ lawyers declined to comment further on her claims.

At JPMorgan, Ms Williams was primarily responsible for managing and evaluating the bank’s third-party intermediary program, according to her complaint. During her time at the bank, the complaint states that Ms Williams identified a number of problems with the program, including a lack of policies and procedures relating to the practice of exempting certain third parties from the bank’s compliance rules, and that third parties Involves a lack of control. Invoice.

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According to the complaint, they also raised concerns about the bank’s monitoring and testing, due diligence review and training and reporting procedures. Additionally, the complaint states that Ms Williams believed the bank ultimately misled regulators and the Justice Department about the status of its compliance program.

JPMorgan agreed in 2016 to pay US officials $264 million for violating anti-corruption laws. The settlements stemmed from an alleged plan to win banking deals by giving coveted jobs to relatives and friends of Chinese government officials.

At that time the bank entered into an administrative settlement with the SEC and a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department whereby it agreed to report to authorities for a period of three years on its efforts to strengthen its compliance program.

Ms Williams reviewed a draft report to update the Justice Department on JPMorgan’s compliance with the non-prosecution agreement, according to her complaint in May 2019. Her complaint said the draft report made several misrepresentations, including the bank’s claims that it had a risk-ranking method and invoice control when it did not.

The complaint also states that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has asked JP Morgan for a list of third parties that the bank terminated over concerns of corruption. According to the complaint, the bank kept no such list, and Ms Williams scrambled to respond based on what she described as “guessing”.

The complaint said Ms Williams initially raised her concerns with her direct supervisors at JPMorgan’s anti-corruption unit, contacted more senior executives, filed a written complaint with the bank’s human resources department, and eventually filed a written complaint with the bank’s human resources department. Met a lawyer from the whistleblower legal team. It said the bank tried to prevent him from filing his complaints internally, and then retaliated against him by giving him a false performance review and removing him from his duties.

Ms Williams’ complaint argued that expressing concerns about the bank’s compliance program was protected under a law to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

Dylan Tokar [email protected] . Feather


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