JPMorgan Fires Credit Trader and Cuts Staff Bonuses for WhatsApp Use




 

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. punished more than a dozen traders for using WhatsApp at work, firing one and cutting bonus payments for the rest.

Edward Koo, who had spent almost 20 years at the firm and was put on leave in January, was formally dismissed after JPMorgan concluded he broke company rules by creating a WhatsApp group and using it to discuss market chatter with other trading employees, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Koo traded corporate bonds and credit derivatives. The cut to bonuses sparked outrage among subordinates who followed Koo's lead in using the channel, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

A JPMorgan spokesperson declined to comment. Koo didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Messages on the WhatsApp service are encrypted from start to finish, and can't easily be monitored by Wall Street firms' compliance departments, a problem for companies that need to make sure their employees aren't engaging in illegal activity such as fraud or insider trading.

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