About the LBMA Gold Price and LBMA Silver Price
The LBMA Gold Price and LBMA Silver Price are the global benchmark prices for unallocated gold and silver delivered in London.
Producers, the investment community, banks and central banks, fabricators, jewellers and other consumers as well as market participants from around the globe, transact during the IBA Gold and Silver Auctions and use the benchmarks as reference prices.
The ability to transact and reference a single transparent price, produced by a regulated benchmark administrator provides significant benefits to the market. The LBMA Gold Price and LBMA Silver Price facilitate spot, monthly averaging, cash-settlement, location swaps, fixed for floating swaps, options and other derivative transactions important to price risk management.
Regulatory and IOSCO Compliance
The LBMA Gold Price and LBMA Silver Price are benchmarks regulated by the UK’s FCA. IBA is a regulated benchmark administrator, authorized to administer the LBMA Gold Price and LBMA Silver Price.
IBA is also compliant with the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks.
How the LBMA Gold and Silver Prices Work
IBA operates electronic auctions for spot, unallocated loco London gold and silver, providing a market-based platform for buyers and sellers to trade.
The auctions are run at 10:30am and 3:00pm London time for gold and at 12:00pm London time for silver.
The final auction prices are published to the market as the LBMA Gold Price AM, the LBMA Gold Price PM and the LBMA Silver Price benchmarks, respectively.
The price formation for each auction is in US Dollars. The final price is converted into the benchmark in multiple currencies including: Australian Dollars, British Pounds, Canadian Dollars, Euros, Onshore and Offshore Yuan, Indian Rupees, Japanese Yen, Malaysian Ringgit, Russian Rubles, Singapore Dollars, South African Rand, Swiss Francs, New Taiwan Dollars, Thai Baht and Turkish Lira.
N.B. The gold and silver auctions settle against US Dollars only. The benchmarks in the other currencies are not tradeable directly through the auction.
The terms of reference of the Precious Metals Oversight Committee include reviewing the methodology.
How the Auctions Work
The auction process runs on the ICE Trading Platform which provides real-time order management, separation of house and client orders, live credit limit controls, a full audit history, compliance monitoring tools and advanced straight through processing using ICE’s APIs for trade capture, order entry and surveillance.
The auctions run in rounds of 30 seconds. At the start of each round, IBA publishes a price for that round. Participants then have 30 seconds to enter, change or cancel their orders (how much gold/silver they want to buy or sell at that price). At the end of each round order entry is frozen and the system checks to see if the difference between buying and selling (the imbalance) is within the imbalance threshold (normally 10,000 oz for gold and 500,000 oz for silver).
If the imbalance is outside of the threshold at the end of a round, then the auction is not balanced, the price is adjusted and a new round starts.
If the imbalance is within the threshold then the auction is finished and the price is set. Any imbalance is shared equally between all direct participants (even if they did not place orders or did not log in) and the net volume for each participant trades at the final price.
The final price is then published as the LBMA Gold Price or LBMA Silver Price in US Dollars and also converted into the benchmarks in other currencies using foreign exchange rates from when the final round ended.
The prices during the auction are determined by an algorithm that takes into account current market conditions and the activity in the auction. Each auction is actively supervised by IBA staff.
Participants also have 30 minutes directly before the auction starts to queue up their orders. This is known as ‘Round zero’.
The IBA Gold and Silver auctions are centrally cleared which allows a broad range of firms to become Direct Participants.
All Direct Participants must be able to centrally clear futures contracts, but they also have the option to select their preferences for a cleared or bilateral match against each other Direct Participant.
At the end of the auction the volumes are matched up, with priority given to matching the bilateral preferences first, if possible. A firm will receive a bilateral match only where they have set their preference against another Direct Participant to bilateral, and the other Direct Participant has done the same, and there is volume that can be matched between the two firms.
Volume which is not matched and settled bilaterally must be converted into centrally cleared, daily futures contracts submitted to ICE Futures US at the benchmark price via exchange for physical (EFP) trades. These trades will be submitted for the Direct Participant by ICE Metals Broking.
When taken to delivery, the cleared futures contract settles according to the spot convention. The metal is settled as unallocated metal via London Precious Metals Clearing (LPMCL) accounts and the cash component settles at ICE Clear US.
Changes to the methodology are governed by IBA’s consultation policy.
Current and previous consultations are available below:
Auction Specifications and Other Documentation
There are two categories of participants in the IBA Precious Metals auctions:
Direct Participants share the imbalance, whereas Indirect Participants do not.
Criteria for becoming a Participant
The criteria for becoming and remaining a Direct or an Indirect Participant are:
|Eligibility Criteria||Direct Participant||Indirect Participant|
|Individuals with appropriate experience, skill and training|
|Suitable organizational and governance arrangements|
|Ability to settle Loco London Gold and/or Silver|
|Ability to clear using the ICE Gold and/or Silver Daily Futures contracts|
Current Auction Participants
The current participants are:
|Bank of China||Direct Participant|
|Bank of Communications||Direct Participant|
|Goldman Sachs||Direct Participant|
|HSBC Bank USA NA||Direct Participant|
|Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)||Direct Participant|
|INTL FCStone||Direct Participant|
|Jane Street Global Trading, LLC||Direct Participant|
|JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. London Branch||Direct Participant|
|Koch Supply and Trading LP||Direct Participant|
|Morgan Stanley||Direct Participant|
|The Bank of Nova Scotia - ScotiaMocatta||Direct Participant|
|Toronto-Dominion Bank||Direct Participant|
How to Become a Participant
IBA is responsible for ensuring that there is appropriate governance over the IBA Precious Metals Auctions and the LBMA Gold and Silver Price benchmarks, and that the appropriate standards of conduct are met.
IBA does this through the Code of Conduct that all Participants are required to adhere to and through the Precious Metals Oversight Committee which has broad representation from the Gold and Silver markets.
The Oversight Committee’s responsibilities are set out in its Terms of Reference, which include:
Decisions by the Precious Metals Oversight Committee are made in accordance with IBA’s Consultation Policy which means that relevant stakeholders are consulted on material changes to the benchmark methodology.
Current and past consultations are available here.
Further details on IBA’s general governance structure, including IBA’s independent Board of Directors, whistleblowing policy and other policies are available on IBA’s Governance page.
Members of the Precious Metals Oversight Committee
The members of the committee attend in an individual capacity and are selected to represent different segments of the industry. Committee members are respected industry veterans that bring important product and market expertise to the governance process.
Committee members are selected by IBA’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee in accordance with IBA’s Committee Selection Policy. Committee members rotate periodically.
To be considered as a member of the Precious Metals Oversight Committee please email: IBA@theice.com
The membership of the Precious Metals Oversight Committee will be published soon.
MINUTES OF THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Minutes of previous committee meetings (including the LBMA Gold Price Oversight Committee) are available here:
Clients wishing to use or redistribute the LBMA Gold and Silver Prices require a license. To obtain a license, or to find out if you need one, please use the online licensing wizard.
The types of licenses and methods of accessing the benchmarks are set out below.
How to access the LBMA Gold Price and LBMA Silver Price Benchmarks
The LBMA Gold and Silver Price Benchmarks are available from data vendors including:
Class Editori S.p.A
FastMarkets (Bullion Desk)
ICE Data Services
|SIX Financial Information|
The data vendor codes (including RICs) are available here.
The auctions can be viewed live on the ICE Trading Platform, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and FastMarkets (Bullion Desk).
To view the auctions on the ICE Trading Platform:
Transparency Reports are available from IBA and data vendors. The Transparency Reports provide the volume and price information for each round of the auctions.
IBA also publishes the benchmarks and Transparency Reports on a delayed basis free of charge on the Historical Data & Reports page. The delay period for the LBMA Gold Price is 30 minutes and 15 minutes for the LBMA Silver Price.
There are five types of license for the LBMA Gold and Silver Prices:
Any party involved in any of the following activities is required to take a license. The online licensing wizard will help determine which license you require based on your use.
Licensing and Technical Documentation and Fee Schedules
Note: Clients may find it easier to view the contents of the FIXML file using Microsoft Excel to tabulate the data into headed columns. To do this, save the file to your computer, then drag and drop the file onto an open Microsoft Excel window and select 'As an XML table' when presented with the 'Open XML' dialogue box (you may need to click 'OK' again if asked whether to create a schema based on the XML source data).
Since the benchmarks are derived from the price of the final round of the auctions, they do not have set publication times, but are instead defined by the expected starting time of each auction.
The expected auction start times, in London time, are:
|Benchmark||Expected Auction Start Time|
|LBMA Gold Price AM||10:30am|
|LBMA Gold Price PM||3:00pm|
|LBMA Silver Price||12:00pm|
Non-Publication Days / Holidays
The LBMA Gold and Silver Prices are not published on certain days.
The specific days for each year are:
The auctions settle spot Gold and Silver. This means that the settlement date is the auction date plus two good UK business days. If that date is a US holiday, then the settlement date rolls forward to the next day that is both a good UK and good US business day.
Please see the LBMA’s website for further details.