National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Electronic auction-based system to replace silver fix

By Brecken Branstrator

July 23, 2014

London--Following a market consultation, the London Bullion Market Association has selected CME Group and Thomson Reuters to create an auction-based system to set the London silver price.

The decision was made after the LBMA held two market surveys, a seminar and a number of meetings with market participants and regulators. The first survey created criteria for the LBMA’s request for proposals of the new mechanism based on feedback from participants, and the second survey showed a clear consensus for the one from CME Group and Thomson Reuters.

The price mechanism recommended by the two companies was chosen not only because it meets the LBMA’s proposal criteria that it be electronic, auction-based, and auditable, but also because it is tradeable with an increased number of direct participants.

CME Group will provide the price platform and methodology and Thomson Reuters will provide the administration and governance, while the LBMA will develop a process of accreditation for silver price participants.

The LBMA also will work with the two companies to implement the solution in time for testing in early August and so that it will be ready to go live on Aug. 15.

The CME/Thomson Reuters proposal was one of seven presented to the association on June 20.

RELATED CONTENT: Market favors auction system to replace silver ‘fix’

The London Silver Market Fixing Limited announced in May that it would cease to administer the silver “fixing,” the method of setting silver’s per-ounce price via a conference call with three banks each day, at the close of the business day on Aug. 14.

Until then, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia will continue to set the price of silver during their daily conference call.

The way that the price of gold is set currently is also under discussion, with the World Gold Council holding a forum earlier this month, reporting that there is strong industry support for its plan to reform and update the London gold fix.

Discussions at the meeting focused on the need for a single, trusted benchmark, and the importance of expanding involvement in the process to reflect the full range of market participants, among other things.