One of the 27 fund companies the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating as to whether they accepted kickbacks from BISYS and other fund administrators is JPMorgan Chase. The company issued a statement saying its One Group Funds unit has been contacted by the SEC. AmSouth Bancorp is the only other company to have acknowledged that it is part of the inquiry, having disclosed this last summer.
According to recent reports, citing people familiar with the inquiry, the SEC is looking into whether fund companies accepted hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks from vendors looking to secure their business. The investigation came as a result of a $21.4 million settlement BISYS reached in September with the SEC for having paid $230 million in kickbacks to investment advisors between 1999 and 2004. As the administrative fees come out of funds’ assets, the kickbacks defrauded investors, the SEC said. And instead of returning the kickbacks to the funds, the advisors used the money to market their funds.
JPMorgan issued a statement saying: “The SEC has sent a letter to Banc One Investment Advisors Corp. requesting information concerning the provision of administrative services by The One Group Services Co., an affiliate of BISYS Fund Services. We are moving quickly to thoroughly review the historical records in order to respond to the SEC inquiry.”