Deutsche Bank under scrutiny in gold price-fixing probe - FT

Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:48pm EST

Dec 13 (Reuters) - German banking regulator Bafin has demanded documents from Deutsche Bank as part of a probe into suspected manipulation of benchmark gold and silver prices by banks, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.

Bafin has interrogated the bank's staff during several on-site inspections over the past few months, the newspaper said on its website, citing people familiar with the matter.()

Currently, gold fixing happens twice a day by teleconference with five banks: Deutsche Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia-ScotiaMocatta, Barclays Bank Plc, HSBC Bank USA, NA and Société Générale. The fixings are used to determine prices globally.

Deutsche Bank is also one of three banks that take part in the equivalent process for silver.

In the wake of the recent Libor interbank lending scandal, questions have been raised about how benchmark rates are set, prompting authorities and banking industry bodies worldwide to overhaul rate-setting processes.

When the probe was first reported in November, similar investigations in the United States and Britain were also reported to be under way.

The same month, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority had asked those who administer major, non-interest rate-related benchmarks, including gold, to assess by July next year how they comply with new global regulatory principles governing all types of indexes following the Libor scandal.

Bafin and Deutsche Bank were not available to comment outside regular business hours.