City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority fined the firm over the wheeler dealer’s dubious dealings.
Incredibly, his attempt to fix the gold price came just a day after Barclays was fined a record £290million for trying to rig the Libor inter-bank interest rate.
An investigation found London-based trader Daniel Plunkett, 38, tried to drive down gold prices to prevent Barclays paying £2.3million 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, Mr 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. Yesterday’s report accused Mr Plunkett of being “untruthful” after failing to come clean about what he had done.
“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 has paid a heavy price for putting his own interests above the integ-rity of the market and Barclays’ customers.”
David Hillman, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign – which wants a levy on the financial sector – said: “Dodgy gold deals are more mafioso than high street bank . Unfortunately this is just the latest in a line of scams and subterfuge from Britain’s supposedly reformed financial sector.
“The Government has given the City far too long a leash. It’s time to bring the banks to heel and ensure that instead of ripping us off they make a positive contribution to society.”
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.”