Engie sentenced to a few tenths of a second of exchange

Engie fined 80,000 euros for a few tenths of a second of exchange. This decision of the Dispute Resolution and Sanctions Committee of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), seized on February 25, 2020, concerns the failure to comply with a European regulation on the transparency of the wholesale energy market.

“Insider trading”?

Engie was accused of some sort of internal insider trading (term not used by CRE), due in particular to oral transmissions of information within the company, and in particular of not having installed a technical blocking mechanism at the time. automatic display of the members of its commercial teams during the dissemination within the group of operational information that may have an influence on the market.

The record thus establishes “that on January 23, 2017 between 06:01:08 and 06:01:17, a member of the short-term trading team used inside information”indicates the text of the committee published in the OJ.

While the announcement of the extension of the shutdown of a production plant of the group (Combigolfe) was published at 06:01:24, it revealed five purchase transactions recorded shortly before, between 06:01:08 and 06:01:17 , on the short-term intraday market, as regards the products to which the information described as “inside” refers until it is public.

A “human error”

Engie does not dispute these transactions, which she describes as “human error” committed “with no intention of disregarding the rules”and points out that the operations carried out “had no impact on the market”.

“A pecuniary sanction of 80,000 euros is pronounced against the company Engie”, indicates the text that will also have to be published in the next financial statement of Engie on 29 July.

This is the lowest possible fine. It could have amounted to more than 4 billion euros (8% of the group’s turnover excluding taxes).

Engie had especially invoked the “brevity of events” and “the absence of repeated nature of the violations”.

For its part, the commission considered the violations committed to be “particularly serious”. He notes that “the character of involuntary human error, since the behavior of the people in question was not based on a personal will to profit, shows that the management system presented as rigorous was not able to prevent this type of error”. And he welcomes the fact that Engie has “taken the necessary palliative measures”.

(with AFP)