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Barclays fined in gold price fixing scandal

British watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has fined Barclays 26 million pounds in a price fixing scandal involving a gold trader. This comes immediately after the bank was fined a record 290 million pounds for trying to rig the Libor inter-bank interest rate. An investigation found a London-based trader, Daniel Plunkett, had tried to drive down gold prices to prevent Barclays paying 2.3 million pounds to a customer. The unnamed client had, in June 2011, effectively bet on where gold prices would be in 12 months’ time. When the day arrived – June 28, 2012 – the gold price was above the level at which the bank would have to pay out. According to the FCA, Plunkett then placed fake, last-minute deals to try to reduce the price below the threshold. It ended up falling and saved Barclays a packet. However the unnamed customer became suspicious and complained to Barclays, which began an investigation. A report accused Plunkett of being ‘untruthful’ after failing to come clean about what he had done. The trader, who earned 284,000 pounds a year, has been fined 96,500 pounds by the FCA, banned from working in the City and sacked by Barclays. The regulator fined Barclays 26 million pounds for failing to potentially prevent the same sort of dealing all the way from 2004 up to 2013.

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