CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Credit Agricole gets approval to withdraw from UK gas trading
(Ofgem corrects to clarify in paragraph 4 the licence is only needed by those who physically insert or withdraw gas from pipelines)
LONDON May 1 (Reuters) - French bank Credit Agricole cleared the final hurdle to exit the British gas market when energy regulator Ofgem on Wednesday approved the bank's request to cancel its UK gas trading licence.
The bank's withdrawal from the gas market follows its resignation as a member of the London Metal Exchange in February, more than a year after it announced it would stop trading commodities.
"By a letter dated 20 February 2013 Credit Agricole CIB London Branch requested revocation of the licence. The authority agrees the revocation shall take place," Ofgem said in a notice.
The so-called gas shipper licence, needed by anyone who inserts or withdraws gas from British pipelines, will become invalid on May 30, Ofgem added.
The French bank's exit reflects a wider trend as international banking houses close European power and gas trading desks. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley are all winding down trading activity.
Credit Agricole in 2012 posted its biggest full-year loss since going public 11 years ago and pledged to cut 650 million euros in costs by 2016. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jane Baird)