The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Ofgem have found no proof of price fixing in the British gas sector, after an investigation began a year ago following allegations from a whistleblower.
The person making the allegation, a former employer of Isis-Heren, said at the time that gas companies had manipulated the bidding process around the establishment of wholesale gas prices.
Energy secretary Ed Davey commented on Thursday, “Market abuse is a very serious concern and I’m determined that where it exists, the full force of the law is brought to bear.”
“That’s why we’re introducing annual competition reviews to make sure the energy market is operating properly, and we’re proposing to introduce criminal sanctions for manipulation of the energy markets.”
He added that the government would continue to ensure that the energy market is transparent and fair to consumers, and called on Ofgem to deliver an assessment of energy suppliers’ financial reporting practices by spring 2014.
“It is right and proper that they continue to be vigilant and we will continue to support them by ensuring the right regulatory framework is in place and that there are appropriate deterrents”, Davey said.
Meanwhile, Seth Freedman, the reporter who disclosed the claim by the whistleblower, wrote in March, “Ofgem officials stated they had neither the required powers nor comprehension to properly investigate the suspicious trading, and didn’t bother interviewing key witnesses as part of their probe.”