UPDATE 1-London platinum, palladium fixing co seeks 3rd-party administrator

Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:01am EDT

* Company set to appoint administrator, independent chairman

* Platinum, palladium fixers follow gold benchmarkers with reforms

* Scrutiny of benchmarks increased after LIBOR manipulation (Adds background)

By Jan Harvey and Clara Denina

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - The London platinum and palladium fixing company (LPPFC) is seeking a third-party administrator for its price benchmarks, it said on Thursday, following a similar move by the operators of the gold "fix" earlier this month.

The company is also finalising arrangements to appoint an independent consultant to chair the twice-daily fixing calls for platinum and palladium.

Scrutiny has been increasing over the way precious metals benchmarks are set ahead of the implementation of stricter regulations on price setting from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) this year.

Regulators across Europe, the United States and Asia have also stepped up scrutiny of financial benchmarking processes following the Libor manipulation case in 2012.

The platinum and palladium benchmarks, or fixes, are currently set through a telephone call between four participants - Standard Bank, Goldman Sachs, BASF Metals Ltd and HSBC.

The LPPFC said in a statement it will soon be soliciting proposals for a third party to run the benchmark-setting processes for platinum and palladium. The deadline for expressions of interest is Aug. 6.

"(The company) will be liaising with the Financial Conduct Authority and other stakeholders during this RFP (request for proposals) process," it said.

The platinum fixing company said it had adopted a new code of conduct and had set up a supervisory committee to oversee the fixing process ahead of the request for proposals, following a review of its practices with reference to the IOSCO principles.

The banks who run the fixing process for gold said earlier this month they were also seeking an external administrator, as well as appointing an independent chairman. They expect a new process to be in place by end 2014.

A similar process recently took place in the silver market, which yielded an electronic auction mechanism to replace the daily conference call. That mechanism will be run by CME Group and Thomson Reuters. (Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article