Jonathan Spall to Chair Platinum to Palladium Fixings

The company that runs platinum and palladium fixings in London appointed Jonathan Spall to chair the price-setting ritual as it revamps the process.

The agreement with Spall and his G Cubed Metals Ltd. consultancy is effective today, London Platinum & Palladium Fixing Company Ltd. said in an e-mailed statement. Spall, who’s worked in metals for more than three decades, has held roles at Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Chase Manhattan Corp.

The fixing company said July 31 that it’s seeking a new administrator for the procedure that’s conducted by BASF Metals Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Bank Plc each day at 9:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. by phone. Banks conducting the century-old fixings for gold are already looking for a third-party to run that benchmark and a similar process for silver will be replaced by an electronic, auction-based mechanism this month.

Precious metals are getting more attention from regulators after price-rigging in everything from interbank lending rates to currencies led to fines and overhauled financial benchmarks. Spall, who left his Barclays role as product manager for metals in London earlier this year, will help with the fixing company’s assessment of responses from firms interested in running the procedure, it said. He conducted an independent review of proposals for the new silver price mechanism.

“I’m very pleased to have this role and also pleased to be working on a longer-term solution,” Spall said today by phone. The role is until a new administrator is found and the process should be completed by the end of the year, he said.

Fixing Prices

Platinum was fixed at $1,467 an ounce in London this morning and palladium’s rate was set at $869 an ounce. Platinum and palladium, up 7.1 percent and 21 percent this year, are mostly used in catalytic converters to curb harmful emissions from cars.

During fixings, members declare how much metal they want to buy or sell for clients as well as their own accounts. Traders relay shifts in supply and demand to clients and take fresh orders as the spot price changes, before the fix is made. Participants can trade the metal and its derivatives on the over-the-counter market and exchanges during the calls.

Platinum and palladium fixings started in 1989 after expansion of so-called quotations, forerunners of the benchmarks, which were first introduced in 1973. Fixings, used by miners to consumers to trade and value metal, date to 1919 for gold and 1897 for silver.

The London Bullion Market Association said on July 11 that CME Group Inc. and Thomson Reuters Corp. will run the replacement for the silver fixing from Aug. 15. The LBMA will seek proposals this month for a new administrator for the gold ritual and plans to complete the process by year-end.

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