Barclays hit by $453m energy trading fines

Tim Wallace
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THE US authorities last night confirmed Barclays and four of its traders will have to pay fines totalling $453m (£299m) for allegedly manipulating the Californian energy markets.

The bank, which has been fighting the claims, has been given 30 days to pay up by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The regulator said the bank and its traders manipulated electricity prices for their own gain. It said traders built up physical positions that were directly opposite to their swaps positions, then flattening those physical positions to change the price and flatter their swaps holdings.

The bank has been fined $435m and told to repay a further $34.9m in unjust profits.

Trader Scott Connelly has been hit with the biggest individual fine of $15m, while three others received bills of $1m.

“We are disappointed by the action FERC took. We believe that our trading was legitimate and in compliance with applicable law,” said the bank in a statement.

“We intend to vigorously defend this matter.”