The Wall Street Journal: 5 big banks win Labor Department waivers to manage retirement plans

WASHINGTON — Five global banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., can continue managing corporate retirement plans in the wake of recent guilty pleas to criminal charges, under new waivers announced by the Trump administration on Thursday.

The waivers, set by the Labor Department, are the latest fallout of the banks’ criminal convictions in market-manipulation schemes, which the firms collectively paid billions of dollars to settle in recent years. Without the waivers, the banks’ asset-management units would have been disqualified from managing retirement plans under U.S. law, even though the misconduct in question occurred in other areas of each of the banks.

The relief allows each of the firms to continue managing pensions plans and individual-retirement accounts, a significant source of business for each of the firms. In addition to JPMorgan JPM, +0.53%   and Citigroup C, +0.25%  , the waivers also apply to units of Barclays PLC BARC, +0.37%  , UBS Group AG UBS, +1.21%   and Deutsche Bank AG DB, +0.21%  .

The Obama administration, in its waning days, approved one-year waivers for each of the banks and proposed granting the firms five-year reprieves from the restrictions.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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