Energy Secretary promises firm action against alleged rigging of UK's wholesale gas market
19 November 2012
Those involved in the alleged rigging of Britain's wholesale gas market will face the "full force of the law", Energy Secretary Ed Davey said on November 13. He promised "firm action" if there was any truth in allegations of gas price manipulation made by a whistleblower to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and energy watchdog Ofgem.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said anyone caught rigging the wholesale gas market will face the "full force of the law"
In a statement to MPs, Davey said: "I see it as my job to protect consumers, not least the most vulnerable who can suffer the most when markets are abused."
He said it was not possible to understand what impact any attempted manipulation, if proven, had on the market or prices paid by consumers. But the Government had "absolute determination to clamp down on any abuse that is uncovered, wherever and by whoever".
All six of the big energy companies have released statements denying any involvement in attempts to fix the £300 billion market.
The FSA and Ofgem are both looking into allegations made by whistleblower Seth Freedman, who worked at ICIS Heren, a company responsible for setting so-called benchmark prices.
Freedman raised the alarm after identifying what he believed to be attempts to distort the prices reported by the company.
Ofgem was warned by ICIS Heren that it had seen evidence of suspect trading on September 28, the date that marks the end of the gas financial year.
It is believed prices went down by about 0.4 per cent on September 28 - a key date as it can have an influence on future prices, according to the Guardian.