India’s Money Laundering Agency Finds Proceeds in JPMorgan Case

A federal investigation agency in India said it had preliminary evidence that units of JPMorgan Chase & Co. were involved in crimes generating 1.87 billion rupees ($24 million) in proceeds, raising the stakes in a months-long money laundering probe.

The anti-money laundering agency Enforcement Directorate informed the top court on Friday about the findings as part of an investigation into JPMorgan’s alleged role in financing the Amrapali group, once among India’s largest real estate companies. Assets belonging to the JPMorgan unit, including bank accounts, could be seized, according to the order posted on the court’s website Friday, formalizing a ruling it first made in January.

“We are aware of the claims made against JPMorgan in court and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves against them,” JPMorgan’s India spokeswoman Mollica Senapati said in an email. She didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment about the amount of alleged criminal proceeds, which the agency raised from an estimate of 1.4 billion rupees at the probe’s outset last year.

Read more: India’s Top Court Says JPMorgan Helped Realtor Divert Funds

The Amrapali investigation emerged after a series of petitions by home buyers frustrated over unfinished housing projects. The court last year scrapped Amrapali’s registration under real estate laws and directed government-owned NBCC India Ltd. to complete all incomplete projects.

The court will next hear the Amrapali case on May 27.

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JPMorgan Doesn’t Have a Timeline for Returning to Offices Yet

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it doesn’t yet have a timeline for returning employees to offices and joined other major banks in saying it may take a more cautious approach than local governments once it does start reopening.

The company is planning to invite workers back in waves, with social-distancing guidelines affecting how many can come to a location at once, according to a memo to staff Thursday from the bank’s operating committee. Business leaders will prioritize who returns when, with employees getting at least two weeks’ notice before they’re expected back.

“We recognize that restrictions are being lifted in some countries around the world and in locations in the U.S., and we encourage you to exercise care and caution as you spend time in public places,” the committee said. “We are still facing a global pandemic and the lifting of restrictions is just one important piece of being in a position to return employees safely to the office.”

With the coronavirus pandemic just starting to ebb in New York, the world’s largest banks have been busily developing plans to eventually bring staff back to mostly empty towers. Roughly 70% of JPMorgan’s more than 250,000 global employees have been working from home since the end of March to help stem the spread of the deadly virus.

The bank has established a Return to the Office Task Force comprised of business leaders and real estate, technology, human resources and global security representatives to assist locations in developing plans for reopening, according to the memo.

JPMorgan is planning to implement security and health protocols for entering buildings. The bank will also be rearranging desks and workstations and mapping out ways to control “flow on floors and in common areas like cafes,” the bank said in the memo.

The bank will likely limit how many people can ride an elevator at once and might station attendants outside elevators to help push buttons, so fewer workers need to touch keypads, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg last month. In cafeterias, JPMorgan may shut down buffet-style options in favor of packaged items for pickup.

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JPMorgan Among Banks Delaying Internships or Moving Them Online

Firms including JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Nasdaq Inc. are making changes to their summer internship programs, including delaying their start, making them shorter or moving them online, as the coronavirus pandemic shifts work arrangements across the finance industry.

JPMorgan pushed back the start date of its internship program to July 6, and is exploring a virtual format if necessary for safety reasons. The incoming class of more than 3,000 interns globally will still be paid for full nine-to-10-week internships despite the program being shorter than planned, a company representative said.

Finance internships typically last nine to 12 weeks and include orientations, guest-speaker events and group projects — collaboration limited by stay-at-home orders in cities around the world aimed at combating the virus’s spread. Companies are grappling with how to handle interns and post-graduate recruits who are generally given summer offers months in advance.

Nasdaq said Friday that its summer program would be fully virtual, following Capital One Financial Corp., which was the first major U.S. bank to move its program online. Capital One said earlier this week that it will still pay its 1,000 interns the full amount outlined in their offer letters, including housing stipends.

HSBC pushed the start date of its internship and post-graduate programs, which were set to begin in June and July, respectively, to later in the year. The London-based bank offers internships and graduate programs in locations including Singapore, China, the Middle East, the U.S. and the U.K., according to its website.

“We understand that prospective candidates may be disappointed,” the company said in an emailed statement. “However, we’ve made this decision to safeguard our current and future workforce.”

Bank of America Corp. said this week that its 2,000 summer interns and 1,000 campus recruits will start as scheduled in June and July, respectively. The lender didn’t specify whether the new hires would work remotely, saying it would finalize plans for bringing them on board later.

— With assistance by Harry Wilson, and Lananh Nguyen

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