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OCC Report: JPmorgan Chase And Citibank Control 76 Percent Of All Precious Metals Contracts At 5,362 Federally-Insured Banks
June 24, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

As of March 31 of this year, there were 5,362 Federally-insured commercial banks and savings associations in the United States. Just two of these banks, JPMorgan Chase NA and Citibank NA control 75.7 percent of all precious metals derivatives contracts held by all of the 5,362 Federally-insured banks and savings associations. This finding comes from a report released last week by the regulator of national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). (See Table 9 in the Appendix of the OCC report.)

Commercial banks are supposed to be making safe and sound business loans to keep the U.S. economy humming, creating good-paying jobs and making America competitive around the world. But according to the latest OCC report, of the $38.57 billion held in precious metals derivative contracts by all Federally-insured banks and savings associations in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase Bank NA held $17.509 billion and Citibank NA held $11.691 billion. JPMorgan Chase is currently under a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice involving precious metals trades.

Equally concerning, the trading of precious metals derivative contracts by Federally-insured banks has grown exponentially since 2001. At that time it represented less than $5 billion. During the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, precious metals derivative contracts at the banks were less than $15 billion. They have more than doubled since that time.

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