London Whale identification case heard in Supreme Court

Hayley Kirton
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A whale in the water
The London Whale scandal has cost JP Morgan dearly (Source: Getty)

The City watchdog has faced off against a former JP Morgan executive in the UK's highest court today, looking to overturn a decision that it wrongly allowed him to be identified when reprimanding the bank over the London Whale scandal.

Achilles Macris, who was responsible for a number of portfolios at the bank when its London Whale trade positions led to it losing $6.2bn, successfully argued to a tribunal that the details in a notice from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) allowed him to be identified, even though the paperwork did not name him explicitly.

This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal in May last year and was heard in the Supreme Court today. A judgement from the top court is not expected for some time.

The FCA fined JP Morgan £137.6m for the London Whale saga back in 2013. The bank was also fined $700m by various US authorities.

Macris has argued that, because he could be identified from the details in the FCA's notices, he had the right to respond to the watchdog before it made its decision public.

Harvey Knight, head of Withers' financial regulation team, noted the case highlighted an important difference between how regulators treat institutions and individuals.

"The real concern is not third party rights but the regulators' practice of investigating and settling with the institutions before dealing with any individuals caught up in the case," Knight said. "Consequently individuals have to contend with a case that their former employer has already settled with their regulators and the die is cast before these individuals are given any right of reply."

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