JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon (L) leaves the U.S. Justice Department after meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, in Washington September 26, 2013. Photo: Reuter
JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon met Thursday morning with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as the nation's biggest bank attempts to end federal and state investigations into its liability for selling shoddy mortgage securities.
The settlement talks in Washington come after the U.S. Department of Justice threatened to file a lawsuit on Tuesday over one of its cases.
JPMorgan is hoping to ease some of the pressure that regulators have been putting on the bank for more than a year. The bank avoided the worst losses in the financial crisis, but it has been under intense scrutiny since May 2012, when it said it was losing money on derivatives bets that became known as the "London Whale" trades.
Those trades ended up costing the bank more than $6.2 billion before taxes, and subsequent probes into how the losses happened revealed that Dimon, JPMorgan's outspoken chief executive, had a dysfunctional relationship with regulators.
The meeting between Dimon and Holder, the highest-ranking U.S. law enforcement official, marks another step in the nation's attempts to sort out responsibility for the financial crisis that hit five years ago.
The meeting follows negotiations this week between JPMorgan and federal and state authorities over the bank paying as much as $7 billion in cash and $4 billion in consumer relief to settle several investigations.
The New York state prosecutor's office has been participating in those talks because it is part of a working group formed by President Barack Obama in January 2012 to investigate misconduct in mortgage securities that contributed to the financial crisis.
The talks have been described as "fluid" and filled with uncertainties over exactly which claims against the bank would be resolved.
Dimon's meeting with Holder shows how high the stakes are for JPMorgan and how the CEO is attempting to put the bank's legal and regulatory headaches to rest.
JPMorgan's litigation costs totaled $17.3 billion over the last three calendar years, according to the company's annual report.