JPMorgan faces $4m SEC fine over accidental deletion of vital emails


JPMorgan Chase, has been hit with a $4m fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the inadvertent deletion of 47 million emails.

The SEC sought many of these permanently erased emails for at least twelve ongoing regulatory investigations.

An administrative order from the SEC emphasised the importance of these lost records, stating, “Because the deleted records are unrecoverable, it is unknown – and unknowable – how the lost records may have affected the regulatory investigations.”

The blunder occurred in 2019 as employees sought to resolve an issue with a project designed to remove older communications that were no longer mandatory to keep. The employees wrongly deleted communications from the first quarter of 2018, wrongly assuming – based on written assurances from the bank’s archiving vendor – that all documents were protected from permanent deletion for three years. However, the vendor failed to implement default retention settings in a specific email domain, resulting in permanent loss of these crucial communications.

JPMorgan discovered the error in late 2019 and informed the SEC in January 2020. This mishap follows a hefty fine of $125m in 2021, inflicted on JPMorgan for not preserving text messages and other communications sent between 2018 and 2020.

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