JP Morgan has been fined $4 million by America’s securities watchdog, the SEC, for deleting millions of email records dating from 2018 relating to its Chase Bank subsidiary.
The financial services giant apparently deleted somewhere in the region of 47 million electronic communications records from about 8,700 electronic mailboxes covering the period January 1 through to April 23, 2018.
Many of these, it turns out, were business records that were required to be retained under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the SEC said in a filing [PDF] detailing its findings.
Worse still, the screwup meant that it couldn’t produce evidence that that the SEC and others subpoenaed in their investigations. “In at least 12 civil securities-related regulatory investigations, eight of which were conducted by the Commission staff, JPMorgan received subpoenas and document requests for communications which could not be retrieved or produced because they had been deleted permanently,” the SEC says.
What went wrong?
The trouble for JP Morgan can be traced to a project where the company aimed to delete from its systems any older communications and documents that were no longer required to be retained.
According to the SEC’s summary, the project experienced “glitches,” with those documents identified for deletion failing to be deleted under the processes implemented by JPMorgan.
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