Major Wall Street banks face investigations over foreign bribery laws

Several of Wall Street’s largest banks are the target of major Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations for violations of foreign bribery laws, according to the Wall Street Journal. The banks include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG. The issues relate to whether they violated United States antibribery laws by hiring relatives of managers of state-owned companies and other connected officials. The key law at play is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).Œ

Banks that retain persons connected with Government officials of a foreign nation with the intent of obtaining business is considered a violation of the FCPA. According to the Journal, the Bank of New York Mellon may settle an SEC investigation relating to allegations that the firm hired interns of relatives of officials at a Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth fund.

Some of the violations were apparently revealed by whistleblowers working for the banks. Under the Securities and Exchange Whistleblower program, names of whistleblowers are not revealed and they are entitled of a percentage of the moneys paid to the SEC.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.