Overhaul of London gold "fix" expected imminently -source

LONDON, July 16 Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:04am EDT

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - A statement on the overhaul of the century-old system of benchmarking gold prices is expected imminently ahead of the implementation of new regulations governing financial benchmarks, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Changes to the current gold "fix", a twice-daily auction process between four banks that takes place over the telephone, are likely to include a new code of conduct for participants and the appointment of an independent chairman, the source said.

The London gold fixing company will also request proposals to administer the benchmarking process, in a similar process to that used earlier this year to find a new operator for the silver fix, the source added.

CME Group and Thomson Reuters were last week named as the new operators of an electronic silver benchmark, in a move that was widely seen preceding sweeping reforms of precious metals price-setting.

Until now responsibility for setting the gold benchmark has rested with the London Gold Fixing Company, made up of the four banks that take part in the fix - Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC, Societe Generale, and Barclays .

A spokesman for the London Gold Fixing Company declined to comment on the matter. (Reporting by Jan Harvey, editing by David Evans)

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