JPMorgan Wants Regulator to Probe Deal Offered Trader

JPMorgan Chase asked the UK banking regulator to examine a pay deal offered by Barclays to lure one of JPMorgan's star proprietary traders to its own investment banking arm, Barclays Capital, the Financial Times reported Monday.

BarCap seeks to build a franchise rivaling that of Goldman Sachs and other famous investment banks and is trying to recruit star traders and bankers despite the bad press given to bank bonuses since the financial crisis started two years ago.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman in London refused to comment.

BarCap has offered Todd Edgar, who specializes in trading commodities at JPMorgan, and 4 other members of his team, around 30 million pounds ($49 million) in cash and stock to join them, the Financial Times wrote on its Web site.

Edgar is in charge of a $2 billion book at JPMorgan and single-handedly made the US investment bank a $100 million profit last year, according to London's Telegraph newspaper.

Bob Diamond, the head of BarCap, admitted this month that BarCap had signed up a “handful” of bankers to two-year guaranteed bonuses, a practice the UK regulator the Financial Services Authority has since outlawed

Proprietary traders' bonuses typically range between 12 percent and 15 percent of their trading profits.

Barclays did not directly receive money from the state, unlike rivals Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, but critics argue that it benefited indirectly from the over 1 trillion pounds the UK government poured into the markets to prevent the collapse of the banking system.