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US Fines British Bank in Energy Rate Manipulation Dispute

U.S. energy regulators have imposed $488 million in fines and penalties against Britain's Barclays bank and four former securities traders in a dispute over the price of electricity in the United States.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday ordered the bank and the traders to pay $453 million in penalties within the next 30 days and forfeit nearly $35 million in profits to help low-income homeowners in four western U.S. states to pay their energy bills.

The agency alleges that Barclays and the traders manipulated energy prices for a two-year period between late 2006 and the end of 2008.

Barclays said it believes its energy trades were legal and plans to "vigorously defend" itself against the charges.

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