US regulators fine Barclays and four traders $453m for energy market-rigging

They have been accused and fined but no conviction !!

US regulators fine Barclays and four traders $453m for energy market-rigging.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday decided to fine Barclays and four of its traders $453m (£300m) for alleged involvement in energy market manipulation.

FERC said the bank must pay $435m in civil penalties to the US Treasury within 30 days and forgo $34.9m in profits. The latter will be distributed to low-income aid programmes in four US states.

Traders Scott Connelly, Daniel Brin, Karen Levine and Ryan Smith – who are accused of manipulating an energy price index in the western part of the US – have been ordered to pay a combined $18m.

“We believe the penalty assessed by the FERC is without basis, and we strongly disagree with the allegations made,” Barclays said in a statement. The bank added it would “vigorously defend this matter.”

The fines were initially proposed by FERC staff last October following suspicions that Barclays was manipulating electricity markets in California and other US states between November 2006 and December 2008. The proposal has now been upheld by the body’s board of commissioners.

Regulators built their case against the traders on electronic communications in which they boasted of their ability to manipulate markets. They have all left the bank.

This is the latest scandal to rock Barclays. Last year, it was fined £290m by UK and US regulators after attempting to rig the Libor interest rate.

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