Deutsche in talks to settle U.S. power manipulation case: FERC

NEW YORK Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:19pm EST

The logo of Germany's largest business bank, Deutsche Bank, is seen at the bank's headquarters behind twigs in Frankfurt January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The logo of Germany's largest business bank, Deutsche Bank, is seen at the bank's headquarters behind twigs in Frankfurt January 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Electricity regulators are in settlement talks with Deutsche Bank over allegations the bank manipulated the California electricity market, staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a filing Friday.

FERC proposed Deutsche pay a $1.5 million fine and disgorge of $123,198 in alleged ill-gotten profits last year.

Deutsche Bank has disputed FERC's allegation that it manipulated the market by deliberately losing money on physical transactions to profit in derivative markets.

On Friday, FERC staff requested a seven day extension of a filing deadline while the settlement talks were underway.

FERC caught the attention of traders with three recent cases against big banks, though its chairman said last month the agency is not trying to push Wall Street out of the markets.

The agency recently proposed a record $470 million fine on Barclays also for allegedly manipulating power markets in California, and a six month ban on JPMorgan Chase & Co's energy trading arm from some of the U.S. power market.

The office of enforcement at FERC now has about 200, up from about 20 in the Enron era.

A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment.

(Reporting by Robert Campbell in New York and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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