iNVEZZ.com Tuesday, December 17: Barclays (LON:BARC) has asked a judge to block federal energy regulators from collecting $488 million (₤299 million) in fines for alleged manipulation of California electricity prices.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can’t fine the bank over sales of electric energy contracts because the transactions weren’t misleading to buyers, lawyers of Barclays yesterday said in a court filing. They also argued that FERC took too long to submit the lawsuit.
“Actual trades with counterparties taking opposite positions do not constitute manipulation, even when those trades were intended to and may have contributed to” change in prices, Barclays attorney Thomas Nolan said in a filing in federal court in Sacramento, California.
Four Barclays traders were named by the regulator as engaging in energy prices manipulation and were fined a total of $18 million (₤11 million). Scot Connelly, managing director of North American power at Barclays, was described by FERC as the “leader of the manipulative scheme” and its “highest paid member”. He was hit with the largest fine and provisionally ordered to pay $15 million (₤9.2 million). The other three bankers, named as Ryan Smith, Karen Levine and Daniel Brin, were each fined $1 million (₤612,858).
Barclays’ legal team has also argued that because the trades didn’t result in the actual physical delivery of electric energy, the regulator lacked authority to bring its lawsuit. That’s why the case should either be dismissed or brought to federal court in Manhattan.
Barclays ends sponsorship of London bike scheme
Barclays last week said it would drop its sponsorship of Boris Johnson’s flagship cycle hire scheme in 2015, three years earlier than expected.
The bank’s logo has been placed on thousands of ‘Boris bikes’ since the scheme began in 2010, for a promised payment of ₤50 million. The arrangement has drawn criticism over the manner of its awarding and the modest sums raised for the widespread branding across London.
To read more about this story visit Bank ditches ‘Boris bike’ sponsorship.
Analysts on Barclays
Numis Securities upgraded Barclays’s shares to a ‘hold’ rating and raised their price target from 222.00p to 274.00p in an investors’ note sent last Friday.
One equity analyst rates Barclays’s shares as a ‘sell’, 9 give them a ‘hold’ rating and 20 call them a ‘buy’. The stock currently has a consensus rating of ‘buy’ and an average price target of 323.91p.
As of 07.10 UTC buy Barclays shares at 255.92p.
As of 07.10 UTC sell Barclays shares at 255.90p.
Prices can go up and down meaning you can get back less than you invest. This is not advice. Dealing services provided by Hargreaves Lansdown.