The next time you make a withdrawal from your savings account at Bank of America, don’t be surprised if the teller asks if you’d be interested in buying a block of power on the electricity market. Just as big name energy traders like Enron and Aquila have gone belly up, the nation’s third largest bank has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to enter the power market and trade wholesale electricity.
According to Reuters, power industry analysts say Bank of America has already begun hiring a staff of power traders for its new operation. The Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a letter in June ruling that the bank could trade electricity derivatives.
FERC has set a Sept. 24 deadline for other electricity traders, industry groups, and consumer advocacy groups to submit their views on the bank’s application.