Regulators are reportedly investigating whether several major US banks failed to monitor transactions properly, allowing criminals to launder money.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the US federal agency that oversees the country's biggest banks, is leading the money-laundering investigation, according to the New York Times on Saturday.
The paper says the OCC could soon take action against JPMorgan Chase & Co., and that it is also investigating Bank of America Corp.
The OCC hasn't commented on the report. JPMorgan and Bank of America have declined to comment.
The financial industry is struggling to mend its public image. Four years after the global financial crisis, banks are getting closer scrutiny. And regulators are under pressure to show they're not missing any questionable activity.
Earlier this year, British bank Barclays PLC settled charges it had manipulated a key global interest rate. Standard Chartered PLC, also based in the UK, agreed to settle charges it had improperly processed money for Iran, brought by the New York Department of Financial Services after it voluntarily informed regulators it was reviewing relevant practices.
JPMorgan later surprised shareholders with an unexpected trading loss. And last year, the Treasury Department announced JPMorgan would pay $US88 million ($A83.81 million) to settle charges it had unlawfully processed money for Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Liberia.
It's not expected banks would be accused of trying to show support for countries like Cuba and Iran. It's more likely they would be accused of faulty oversight that made any unlawful transactions possible. The industry has maintained such violations are almost always unintentional.
According to the Times, the Justice Department and the Manhattan district lawyer's office are also involved.
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