Federal investigators have been looking into whether banking giant JP Morgan violated antibribery laws by hiring the children of influential Chinese officials in order to win lucrative business deals.
The New York Times' Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Ben Protess reported more details on the hiring program, called "Sons and Daughters."
At first, JP Morgan employees in Asia instituted "Sons and Daughters" to avoid seeing bribery charges stemming from hiring the children of China's ruling elite. It eventually became a fast-tracking process, according to the report. From the Times:
But in the months and years that followed, the two-tiered process that could have prevented questionable hiring practices instead fostered them, according to the interviews as well as the confidential government document. Applicants from prominent Chinese families, interviews show, often faced few job interviews and relaxed standards. While many candidates met or exceeded the bank’s requirements, some had subpar academic records and lacked relevant expertise.
The Times points to one 2007 example where the bank hired the daughter of the former deputy chief engineer of China's railway ministry. In the months that followed, the bank "nestled closer to the railways business in China," according to the report.
Investigators will likely look to those kind of examples, where hiring decisions were made exclusively on pedigree over skill and hires directly bolstered business in China.
Their efforts could be aided an internal spreadsheet connecting appointments to sought after business deals, as Bloomberg's Dawn Kopecki reported yesterday.
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