JPMorgan Has Made Deep Cuts to Metals Business After Nickel Crisis – by Alfred Cang, Jack Farchy and Eddie Spence (Bloomberg News – April 13, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — JPMorgan Chase & Co. has cut dozens of base metals clients and slashed bankers’ bonuses, as the business remains under harsh internal scrutiny in the wake of last year’s nickel crisis.

JPMorgan, Wall Street’s biggest player in metals, has been reviewing its commodity exposure for over a year after it played a prominent role as the biggest counterparty of the Chinese company at the center of the nickel short squeeze on the London Metal Exchange. It was also a financier of the top Chinese copper trader whose business ground to a halt after a liquidity crisis last year.

While the review is ongoing, JPMorgan has already scaled back its base metals business substantially, according to people familiar with the matter, and the moves are being felt across the industry.

The bank has cut numerous base metals clients in Asia, with particularly deep cuts among privately owned Chinese companies, the people said. It is continuing to work only with a few large, long-standing clients in the region, they said. Bloomberg last year reported that JPMorgan had stopped new inventory financing in China.

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