(Ofgem corrects to clarify in paragraph 4 the licence is only
needed by those who physically insert or withdraw gas from
LONDON May 1 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
"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)