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Deutsche Bank Resigns From Gold Fix After Seat Sale Fails

Deutsche Bank AG resigned from participating in setting gold and silver benchmarks in London after failing to agree on a sale of the seat.

The German bank’s last day taking part in the fixing will be May 13, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Europe’s largest investment bank said in January it planned to withdraw from the London fixing. A sale couldn’t be arranged, the person said.

“Deutsche Bank is resigning its position on the gold and silver benchmark setting process,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement today. “We remain fully committed to our precious metals business.”

The bank is one of five gold and three silver members that help set fixings, benchmark rates used by mining companies, jewelers and central banks to trade and value metals. Deutsche Bank said Dec. 6 it will cut 200 jobs in commodities and exit dedicated energy, agriculture, dry bulk and base metals trading.

Officials from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority are visiting member banks involved in the London fixing as part of a review of gold benchmarks, a person with knowledge of the matter said. In Germany, financial markets regulator Bafin interviewed Deutsche Bank employees as part of a probe into potential manipulation of gold and silver prices, a person with knowledge of the matter said in December.

The century-old London fixing is led by representatives of Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and current chairman Societe Generale. They hold conference calls at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. where they discuss buying and selling the metal, starting from the dollar spot price, until a rate is agreed upon.

“It really does not matter” that Deutsche Bank is withdrawing, Ounesh Reebye, a vice president at Vancouver-based Silver Wheaton Corp., the largest precious-metals mine-financing company, said in an interview. “It is considered a benchmark price, and we will continue to use it.”

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