Bafin Reviews Gold, Silver Pricing as Part of Libor Review

German financial regulator Bafin is reviewing how banks participate in gold and silver price setting as part of its review of benchmark administration in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal.

The regulator is looking at the procedures at “individual banks,” Ben Fischer, a spokesman for Bafin, said in an e-mailed statement today. He declined to identify any banks or to provide any details of the review, which began several months ago.

“Bafin is looking at several benchmarks and how they are handled at banks in Germany, and this is part of this general review,” he said by phone.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is scrutinizing how prices are set in the $20 trillion gold market, according to a person with knowledge of the review who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The London fix, the benchmark rate used by mining companies, jewelers and central banks, is published twice daily after a telephone call involving Barclays Plc, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and Societe Generale SA. Deutsche Bank AG is the only German bank involved in the fixing.

Deutsche Bank spokesman Christian Streckert declined to comment. Bafin in August completed an initial report as part of its special probe into the lender, a person familiar with the issue said at the time. That probe is continuing.

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, exceeding 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.

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