FERC supports $470 mln market manipulation fine on Barclays

Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:52am EST

Jan 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) correctly found that traders for Barclays Plc manipulated the California power market from late 2006 to 2008 and should pay a record $470 million in penalties, FERC staff said in a report.

The report found the bank and four of its traders used losses in physical markets to make gains in financial markets.

The FERC staff said the bank lost about $4.1 million through its physical cash trades, but "reaped gains of approximately $34.9 million in its financial positions."

The staff said Barclays' manipulative trading scheme cost other market participants at least $139.3 million.

In an email statement, Barclays said: "We believe that our trading was legitimate and in compliance with applicable law.

"The FERC should reject the Office of Enforcement's recommendations, decline to assess any penalties, and terminate this matter without any further proceedings. If the FERC proceeds, we intend to vigorously defend this matter in federal court," Barclays said.