Growing concerns about the accuracy of prices reported in the natural gas market have been underlined after three major brokers launched their own set of indices covering the UK and Europe based on confirmed transactions.
The "Tankard" benchmarks have been created by ICAP, Marex Spectron and Tullet Prebon, and come in the wake of an investigation into market pricing and reporting by two of Britain's top regulators following Guardian revelations from a whistleblower.
The new indices are believed to be the product of pressure from leading brokers. They bypass the price reporting agencies (PRAs) such as Icis-Heren and Platts, whose methodologies have also come under scrutiny from the European Commission and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (Iosco).
The current over-the-counter (OTC) gas market, worth around £300bn annually, is largely unregulated and prices are hard to establish because the price repo