Barclays fined £26m over gold price fixing

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.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the bank 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.

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

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The FCA said that, on that day, Plunkett “exploited the weaknesses in Barclays’ systems and controls to seek to influence that day’s 3pm gold fixing and thereby profited at a customer’s expense”.

It said that, as a result, Barclays did not have to make a $3.9 million (£2.3m) payment to a customer, though it later compensated the customer in full.

Plunkett’s actions boosted his own trading book by $1.75m, the FCA said.

The watchdog has fined him £95,600 and banned him from the industry.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins said: “We very much regret the situation that led to this settlement. Barclays has undertaken a significant amount of work to enhance our systems and controls and is committed to the highest standards across all of our operations.

“While there is much more to do to achieve the deep-rooted cultural change we embarked upon at the start of 2013, Barclays today has significantly changed for the better.”