International360 - Germany Launches Metals Price-fixing Probe.

Aichi International: The German financial regulator, BaFin, is examining gold and silver price-fixing procedures at several banks., In the aftermath of LIBOR rate-rigging scandal involving several global banks, the German financial regulator, BaFin, is examining the benchmarking process that fixes the price of precious metals like silver and gold at the country's largest banks.

Precious metals' prices are fixed daily in London by five so-called bullion banks including Deutsche Bank and BaFin is stepping up scrutiny after the LIBOR scandal that saw several banks fined billions of dollars for their participation.

"Conspiracy theorists have long speculated that gold and silver prices are deliberately suppressed by bullion banks acting as agents of global central banks who are keen to ensure that fiat or paper-based currency remains the main medium of exchange," said an Aichi International.

BaFin's probe comes as the UK's Financial Conduct Authority scrutinizes the process by which prices are set in the multi-trillion dollar gold market.

"The so-called "London Fix" is the price used by mining corporations, jewelers and central banks to buy and sell the metal and it's published twice a day by Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia, Deutsche, HSBC and Societe Generale," said the Aichi International European markets analyst.

BaFin has not identified which banks are being investigated but its spokesman said that the probe was part of the regulator's general review of benchmark rate and price-setting procedures within the German financial sector.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment when asked if it was being investigated as part of the probe.


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