JPMorgan: We don't speculate with metals

Blythe Masters, in charge of global commodities for investment bank JPMorgan, had to defend her employer's business model on Thursday speaking to CNBC:

"We store significant amounts of commodities, for instance silver, on behalf of customers. We operate vaults in New York City, in Singapore and in London. Often when customers have that metal stored in our facilities they hedge it on a forward basis through JPMorgan, which in turn hedges in the commodities market," she said.

"If you see only the hedges and our activity in the futures market but you aren't aware of the underlying client position that we're hedging, then it would suggest inaccurately that we're running a large directional position," she added. "In fact that's not the case at all. We have offsetting positions. We have no stake in whether prices rise or decline."

JPMorgan earned $2.8 billion from trading in the commodities markets in 2011 and has been in the news recently after its London-based global chairman for capital markets resigned following a fine for market abuse.

Ian Hannam, aka ‘the king of mining M&A’ is appealing the decision that centred  on charges that he passed on confidential information about a client, Heritage Oil, to a potential acquirer in Kurdistan.