JPMorgan may move into precious metals clearing in Zurich

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. is looking to start clearing precious metals trades in Zurich, something that for years has been dominated by just two Swiss banks.

The lender may begin to offer to settle its clients’ trades using metal located in Zurich, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the information is private. So-called loco Zurich transactions have long been almost exclusively handled by UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG.

JPMorgan is the world’s dominant bullion bank, with its business spanning everything from trading futures with hedge funds to transporting physical bullion around the world. Its vaults also help underpin trading in London and New York, the two biggest markets.

Zurich used to be the top hub for platinum-group metals trading, but over the past decade has lost ground to London, with the UK capital benefiting from its wider array of clearing services and infrastructure for storing and transporting gold and silver.

The Swiss city remains an important trading center, however, acting as a transit hub between Eastern and Western precious metals markets. It’s also aided by proximity to the largest gold refineries that process metal into bars of various sizes.

JPMorgan is looking to clear trades in Zurich for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, the people said.

(By Eddie Spence, with assistance from Jack Farchy)

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