Bafin Said to Interview Deutsche Bank Staff in Gold Probe

German banking regulator Bafin has interviewed employees of Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) as part of a probe of potential manipulation of gold and silver prices, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Bafin’s investigation is part of a wider review by the Bonn-based regulator, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous as details of the probe are private. Officials at Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank and Bafin declined to comment.

Global regulators are widening market manipulation probes from interbank interest rates to precious metals and foreign exchange. The London fix, a gold benchmark used by mining companies, jewelers and central banks, is published twice daily after a phone call involving Barclays Plc (BARC), Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Societe Generale SA (GLE) and Deutsche Bank.

Bafin is looking at the procedures at “individual banks,” Ben Fischer, a spokesman for the regulator, said last month. He declined to identify any banks or to provide any details of the review, which began several months ago.

Deutsche Bank, Europe’s largest investment bank, is the only German firm involved in the fixing.

The Financial Times reported today that Bafin requested documents from Deutsche Bank and interviewed staff during on-site inspections, citing people familiar with the matter.

Deutsche Bank rose 0.2 percent to 33.24 euros in Frankfurt trading. The stock is up 0.8 percent this year.

The German regulator generally taps staff at the Bundesbank and auditing companies to carry out detailed investigations, which as a rule include interviews and the review of documents.

London is the biggest center for gold trading in the world, according to the London Bullion Market Association, which said more than $33 billion changed hands there each day in 2012. That exceeded the $29 billion of futures traded on Comex, the New York commodities exchange, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Financial instruments including cash-settled swaps and options are priced off the London fix, according to the LBMA website.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.net; Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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