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Barclays 'taking fraud allegations very seriously'

British bank Barclays is taking allegations "very seriously" that it misled large institutional investors and other clients in the United States by falsely telling them it was taking measures to protect them from predatory high-frequency traders, it said today.

A Barclays spokesman said: "We take these allegations very seriously.

"Barclays has been co-operating with the New York Attorney General and the SEC (Securites and Exchange Commission) and has been examining this matter internally. The integrity of the markets is a top priority of Barclays."

Read: Barclays accused of 'deception and dishonesty' in US lawsuit

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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.

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

Read: Barclays gold price fixing failings another blow to bank

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Barclays boss: Job cuts will not damage bank 'at all'

The chief executive of the Barclays Group has rejected claims that morale has sunk within the bank over the announcement it is to cut 7,000 jobs, arguing that it "would not damage" the organisation "at all".

Antony Jenkins told ITV News: "I don't think it is going to damage Barclays at all. I think our colleagues understand what we are trying to do strategically, and the feedback that I have been receiving all through today is they are excited about the direction of the bank.

"Of course we understand that the people who are directly affected by this will be concerned, and of course we are going to treat them with care and respect."

He added: "This is about positioning Barclays so it can succeed and win in the new world."

Read: Barclays to cull investment bank with 7,000 job cuts

Union: Staff bearing brunt of bosses bad decisions

Investment banking union, UNI Finance, a sector of UNI Global Union which represents more than 3 million finance workers across the globe has called for Barclays to reinvest in job creation in its retail operations. In a statement, UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings said:

Barclays workers are enduring a period of intense and unprecedented upheaval at a time when stress and health problems have never been worse in the banking sector.

For how long will bank employees have to bear the brunt of poor decisions made by executives in the past?

All the while the big boss bonus culture continues unabated.

Barclays must reinvest in job creation in retail operations and recognise the efforts of its loyal workforce.

More: Job losses to shrink Barclays investment bank

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