Dem Rep Sold Stock in Collapsing Bank and Picked Up JPMorgan Shares Right Before Acquisition, Disclosures Show

Rep. Lois Frankel sold her First Republic Bank stock weeks before bank's collapse

Reps. Lois Frankel (D., Fla.) and Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) / Getty Images

Florida Democratic representative Lois Frankel is capitalizing on First Republic Bank's collapse and subsequent buyout by JP Morgan Chase & Co, according to congressional financial disclosures reported on by Newsweek.

Frankel sold her stock in the San Francisco-based bank on March 16, weeks before the value of its shares dropped 75 percent and U.S. regulators seized the failing bank's assets, Newsweek reported. A few days later, on March 22, Frankel bought stock in JP Morgan Chase & Co, which on Monday bought most of First Republic Bank's assets. The exact amount of stock Frankel traded is unknown, but according to the filing, the value for each trade was between $1,001 and $15,000, Newsweek reported.

Frankel's shrewd trading fuels mounting criticism of members of Congress buying and selling stocks, which allows them to profit from industries they are supposed to regulate. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) and John Curtis (R., Utah) also reported trading First Republic Bank stocks before its collapse. Several members of Congress have introduced legislation to ban congressional stock trading.

"My account is managed independently by a money manager who buys and sells stocks at his discretion," Frankel said in a statement to Newsweek.