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FERC Set to Announce Fines on Barclay’s Bank for Energy Trading Manipulation Today

Barclay's Bank

Barclay's Bank faces fines for manipulating energy markets

Barclays Bank, the only bank to date to settle in the Libor scandal, could face more regulatory probes down the line on a number of other issues, including an energy trading scandal in the US.

As the bank admitted it had slumped to a third-quarter loss as a result of the payment protection insurance scandal, it revealed that US regulators were now looking at the crucial fundraising in 2008 from Middle Eastern investors that is also being investigated by the Financial Services Authority.

Antony Jenkins, promoted to chief executive after Bob Diamond left in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal, insisted the bank would “vigorously defend” itself against the potential fine from the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) office of enforcement which could be announced later on Wednesday.

The matter relates to Barclays’ power trading in the western US from late 2006 to 2008 and is thought to relate to the way electricity was traded.

JPMorgan Chase also faces investigation for their role in manipulating energy markets, rigging the bidding process to raise rates by $73 million or more. In all, FERC has “announced more than 10 probes of alleged manipulation in electricity and natural-gas markets,” which has led to, among other things, a $245 million settlement with Constellation Energy Group. In other words, big finance and big energy have conspired to rip you off for the electricity you purchase for years now.

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David Dayen

David Dayen