Business

Drunk trader banned for buying 7 million barrels of oil

Oil barrels
Image caption The trades caused a rise in the price of oil

An oil trader who bought seven million barrels of oil after a weekend of heavy drinking has been banned by the City watchdog.

Steven Perkins made the trade in the early hours of the morning after a weekend of "excessive" drinking, said the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

His actions caused the price of Brent crude oil to jump to an "abnormal level".

The regulator said Mr Perkins' actions amounted to market abuse.

He has been fined £72,000 and has been banned from working in the financial services industry for at least five years.

"Perkins' trading manipulated the market in Brent by giving a false and misleading impression as to the supply, demand and price of Brent," the FSA said.

"[His actions] seem to have been a consequence of extremely heavy drinking resulting from alcoholism, which he now acknowledges."

The FSA said that Mr Perkins had also repeatedly lied to his employers, PVM Oil Futures, in order to cover up his unauthorised dealing.

He has since joined a rehabilitation programme for alcoholics and he has stopped drinking, the regulator added.

"Perkins' drunkenness does not excuse his market abuse," the FSA said.

"Perkins has been banned because he is not a fit and proper person to be involved in regulated activities and his behaviour posed a risk to the proper functioning of the market."

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