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JPMorgan's Dimon holds talks on $11 bn DoJ deal

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon held talks with the Department of Justice Thursday on a possible $11 billion deal to settle alleged violations, a source close to the matter said.

Dimon and US Attorney General Eric Holder met in Washington amid intense negotiations to wrap up a slew of misbehavior allegations against JPMorgan, the biggest US bank by assets.

"The majority of the conversation is around mortgage-backed securities," the source said.

The Justice Department has more than a half-dozen investigations open into the bank, and it faces potentially expensive charges -- both civil and criminal -- from other regulatory bodies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Some of the probes relate to the bank's sale of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) before the financial crisis.

Many investors took huge losses on securities marketed to them as safe bets but which instead held large levels of high-risk sub-prime mortgages. Several other banks have paid large fines and damages for selling dodgy MBS.

The bank could also be under investigation for hiring the relatives of top Chinese officials as a way to get business in China, according to reports.

On September 19 JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million in fines to US and British regulators over the "London whale" trading debacle.

Earlier this week reports said JPMorgan had offered $3 billion to the Justice Department to settle some or all of the charges it faces, against reported demands for $20 billion from the department.

Since late Tuesday reports have had the talks focused on a number in the range of $11 billion, but the Justice Department has also reportedly insisted on the company admitting guilt.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130926/jpmorgans-dimon-holds-talks-11-bn-doj-deal