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Barclays fined for US price fixing
Barclays has been fined by US regulators
Barclays and four of its traders have been fined 453 million dollars (£300 million) by United States regulators for manipulating power prices.
In a fresh blow for the scandal-hit bank, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) also ordered the lender to pay at least 34.9 million dollars (£23 million) of "unjust profits" to the low-income home energy assistance programmes of Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
FERC, which upheld fines first imposed in October, accused Barclays and its traders of a "co-ordinated and intentional effort" to fix electricity prices in California and other western US states between November 2006 and December 2008. It has given the bank 30 days to pay the fines. Barclays vowed to "vigorously defend this matter".
FERC said the level of the fines reflect the "seriousness of the violations and the lack of any effort by Barclays and the traders to remedy their violations".
As well as a 435 million dollar (£288 million) fine against Barclays, FERC has ordered Scott Connelly, then managing director of North American power at the bank, to pay 15 million dollars (£9.9 million), while fellow traders Daniel Brin, Karen Levine and Ryan Smith must pay one million dollars (£662,000 ) each.
FERC said it found a trail of emails and instant messages that revealed the power price rigging.
FERC alleges that Barclays manipulated the electricity market for a total of 655 days, costing other firms nearly 140 million dollars (£93 million) by driving power prices up and down to the benefit of derivatives positions held by the bank.
The fine comes as Barclays is already battling to repair its image in the wake of its £290 million Libor rigging scandal last summer, which claimed the scalp of former chief executive Bob Diamond. Barclays' new boss, Antony Jenkins, has since led a crusade to overhaul the culture at the bank, telling staff to adhere to a new set of values or quit.
Barclays, which said late last year it would contest the FERC fine, added: "We believe the penalty assessed by the FERC is without basis and we strongly disagree with the allegations made by FERC against Barclays and its former traders. We believe that our trading was legitimate and in compliance with applicable law."
The bank confirmed that all four traders fined by FERC have since left the company.
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When are Cameron & Clowns going to bring these Bankers to account? Not one has been prosecuted so far and over 2,000 of them in the UK received earnings over £1m, goodness knows how many there were over £0.5m.
I don't think this Government is going to do anything and Cable says he's bringing out new laws to make many of the things they have done criminal offences but not retrospective. I always thought fraud was a criminal offence.
I also see just this morning that Bankers may have been up to their fiddles again, this time in respect of QE.
No honest MPs as they are in the pockets of the Bankers anyway awaiting the offer of directorships.