Barclays fined $453m for manipulating electricity prices

Barclays and four of its traders have had a fine of $453m upheld (£300m) for allegedly manipulating electricity prices. Barclays must pay $435m within 30 days, while one trader must pay $15m and three others $1m each as well as forgo $34.9m in profits, which will be distributed to low-income aid programmes in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. Barclays were first accused of manipulating the electricity markets in California and other states from November 2006 to December 2008. The fines were then later proposed by staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last October. Evidence was gathered via a series of electronic messages, which showed the Barclays traders boasting of their ability to manipulate markets. The bank said in a statement: “We are disappointed by the action that FERC took today. We believe the penalty assessed by the FERC is without basis, and we strongly disagree with the allegations made.” All four of the traders identified have left the firm. Barclays has said that it intends to “vigorously defend this matter”. The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with dispute resolution solicitors in Maidstone and across the country.