Barclays fined £26m over gold price fixing attempts

Barclays has been fined £26 million by the City watchdog over failings in relation to the fixing of the price of gold over a nine-year period.

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Barclays trader fined over £95k and banned from sector

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said Barclays had failed to manage conflicts of interest between itself and its customers in relation to the way the price of gold is set, between 2004 and 2013.

According to the FCA, the fine surrounds the actions of Barclays trader Daniel James Plunkett:

  • Mr Plunkett, was a trader on the Barclays precious metals desk on June 28 2012.
  • Mr Plunkett "exploited the weaknesses in Barclays' systems and controls to seek to influence that day's 3pm gold fixing, the FCA said.
  • As a result, Barclays did not have to make a 3.9 million US dollar (£2.3 million) payment to a customer, though it later compensated the customer in full.
  • Mr Plunkett's actions boosted his own trading book by 1.75 million US dollars (£1.04 million), the FCA said.
  • Mr Plunkett had agreed to settle at an early stage of the probe, meaning they each qualified for a 30% discount to their fines.
  • The watchdog has fined him £95,600 and banned him from the industry.

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Banking industry 'sullied once again' over gold failings

The gold-fixing failings by Barclays has once again tarnished the industry's reputation, the Financial Conduct Authority said, after it fined the bank £26 million.

Its announcement focused on the behaviour of Daniel James Plunkett, who was a trader on the Barclays precious metals desk, on June 28 2012.

Traders who might be tempted to exploit their clients for a quick buck should be in no doubt - such behaviour will cost you your reputation and your livelihood.

Barclays' failure to identify and manage the risks in its business was extremely disappointing. Plunkett's actions came the day after the publication of our Libor and Euribor action against Barclays.

Firms should be in no doubt that the spotlight will remain on wholesale conduct and we will hold them to account if they fail to meet our standards.

– Tracey McDermott, Financial Conduct Authority
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