LME chief flags gold fix flagging

Amid investigations of manipulation and price-fixing, Deutsche Bank, became the first to resign from both the London Gold Fixing and Silver Fixing panels in May.

The lawsuits piling up and the ongoing probe by the UK financial regulator – and the first of what could be a slew of fines – meant that the German banking giant could not find any buyers for the seats.

Talks on how to overhaul the London Gold fix which has been used as a benchmark for the global physical trade in the precious metal for the past 95 years is still under discussion under the direction of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

Reuters reports the CEO one of the frontrunners to take over administration of both benchmarks the London Metal Exchange, says the process is open to manipulation:

"When people sit around a table and lift a flag in the gold market and say this is where the price is, obviously it is open to manipulation if it's done in this opaque way," LME Chief Executive Garry Jones told a conference in London on Tuesday, giving no further details.

There has been no shortage of parties interested in taking over the precious metal spot pricing mechanisms, including the news and financial data provider Reuters, the LME, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and fund manager ETF Securities.

The body responsible for administering the silver benchmark are ceasing operations on August 14 and the industry is scrambling to find a new price discovery and benchmarking system which traces its roots back 117 years.

Both benchmarks are used in the physical trade of the jewellery, coins and bars around the world and as pricing points for a range of financial instruments including hedging transactions.