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HKMA official referred son for JPMorgan internship in 2006

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) official Peter Pang said he referred his son for a summer internship in 2006 at JPMorgan Chase & Co, the bank under investigation for hiring relatives of Chinese business leaders.

Mr Pang, a deputy chief executive at the HKMA, didn't do anything to influence the hiring decision beyond sending the firm his son's curriculum vitae, he said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday, a comment that was echoed later by the central bank's chief executive officer Norman Chan at a briefing in Shanghai the same day. Marie Cheung, a spokeswoman at JPMorgan in Hong Kong, declined to comment.

"My duties in the HKMA did not involve supervisory functions over or direct business dealings with JPMorgan," Mr Pang said. A profile on the central bank's website showed that he's responsible for "monetary management, financial infrastructure and research". The HKMA said it's collaborating with the "relevant authorities" in looking into the hiring practices of JPMorgan. The US Justice Department is investigating the so-called sons and daughters programme allegedly run by the firm.

Mr Pang said he sent across his son's CV after learning from a friend at the bank that internships were available. His son, who was studying economics at the University of Chicago, got a summer position lasting about two months after going through a selection process, he said.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Mr Pang was listed in an internal JPMorgan document as having referred his son for an internship.  "Mr Pang only sent the CV. Other than that, he didn't do anything to affect the hiring process and decision," HKMA CEO Chan said at a media briefing in Shanghai. "Second, Mr Pang's duties at the HKMA do not involve supervision of the bank and direct engagement of business. From this perspective, we don't see a big problem with that. We will consider internally revising rules and details on what can be done and what needs to be avoided," Mr Chan said.