U.S. power regulator to fine Deutsche Bank unit over energy trading: WSJ

Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:20am EST

Pedestrians are reflected in a window as they walk in front of the headquarters of Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt September 5, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

Pedestrians are reflected in a window as they walk in front of the headquarters of Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt September 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Alex Domanski

(Reuters) - U.S. electricity regulators are expected to impose a $1.5 million fine as early as Tuesday on a Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) subsidiary over alleged power market manipulation, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier proposed that the energy-trading arm of Deutsche pay the fine and disgorgement of $123,198 in alleged ill-gotten profits last year, saying it manipulated California power prices.

Last week, the FERC requested a further extension in the legal deadline until January 22 amid the ongoing talks. (link.reuters.com/tej45t)

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

The action is part of a larger crackdown by the regulator targeting electricity trading schemes that it says resemble the market manipulations that caused California's energy crisis more than a decade ago, the Journal said.

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

Deutsche Bank's U.S. unit and an FERC spokeswoman could not be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular business hours.

(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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