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Barclays fined 26 mn pounds over gold pricing

Posted on May 24 2014 | IANS

London, May 24 : Barclays Bank Plc, British second largest bank in assets term, has been fined 26 million pounds (about USD 43 million) for gold pricing misconduct, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Friday.

The bank failed to adequately manage conflicts of interest between itself and its customers, and has been detected systems and controls failings in relation to the Gold Fixing, Xinhua quoted the Britain's financial industry watchdog as saying in a statement.

These failures continued from 2004 to 2013, FCA added.

On June 28, 2012, former Barclays trader Daniel James Plunkett took advantage of the defects of the bank's systems and controls to influence that day's 3 p.m. gold fixing, and thereby profited at a customer's expense, according to FCA.

Plunkett has also been fined 95,600 pounds and banned from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity.

Tracey McDermott, FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "A firm's lack of controls and a trader's disregard for a customer's interests have allowed the financial services industry's reputation to be sullied again."

Plunkett's misconducts took place a day after Barclay was fined a record 290 million pounds for manipulating the London interbank offered rate.

The gold fixing is an important price-setting mechanism which provides market users the opportunity to buy and sell gold at a single quoted price.

Since joining the gold fixing on June 7, 2004, Barclays has contributed to setting the price of gold, FCA said.

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