The Investment Banks’ Hiring Practices in China: On or Off the Radar of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?




Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA, investment banks, hiring practices, China, JPMorgan, corporate governance, ethics, compliance


This study examines the hiring practices of investment banks in China, with a specific focus on JPMorgan's "Sons & Daughters" program. These practices have raised significant legal and ethical questions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The objective is to analyze whether these practices violate the FCPA and to discuss their broader implications for global business ethics and regulatory compliance. Employing a comprehensive literature review, theoretical analysis, and case studies, the research investigates data from legal documents, academic articles, and regulatory reports.

The findings indicate that the "Sons & Daughters" program, and similar hiring practices by other banks, constitute a grey area within FCPA enforcement. The study reveals systematic quid pro quo arrangements where investment banks hire relatives of Chinese officials in exchange for business opportunities, suggesting potential violations of anti-bribery provisions.

The analysis underscores the enforcement challenges of the FCPA in diverse cultural and regulatory environments. It discusses the implications for corporate governance and the global financial industry, emphasizing the need for robust compliance mechanisms and higher ethical standards. The study concludes that while such hiring practices might offer competitive advantages, they undermine fair competition and ethical standards, necessitating stricter enforcement of the FCPA. The paper suggests measures to mitigate these risks and promote ethical hiring practices in the financial sector.


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Author Biography

Qingxiu Bu, University of Sussex, Sussex House, Falmer Brighton, BN1 9RH

Qingxiu has published widely in a variety of areas of law, many of which are themed around law and global challenges, with a particular focus on the development of legal infrastructures in transnational law and global governance. He has previously been a lecturer in law at Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University (2007-08) and School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast (2008-13), during which he taught Transnational Business Law at Centre of Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS), Georgetown University as Adjunct Professor. Qingxiu was appointed as Li Kashing Professor of Practice at Faculty of Law, McGill University in 2019. He has held visiting posts at various institutions, including Lund University, Sweden, University College Dublin, Ireland, Tel Aviv University, Israel and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Germany. He worked also as Docent at the Institute of Global Law and Policy (IGLP), Harvard Law School in January 2013 and 2014. Qingxiu has completed four projects funded respectively by the British Academy, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Newton Fund, and British Council (PMI) during the past years. Qingxiu serves as a senator member at University of Sussex (1 August 2020-1 August 2022)




How to Cite

Bu, Q. (2024). The Investment Banks’ Hiring Practices in China: On or Off the Radar of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?. Journal of Law and Corruption Review, 6, e082.