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.
IBA has published a Statement of Compliance with the EU Benchmarks Regulation and Benchmark methodologies, including in respect of ICE Swap Rate, and Ernst & Young LLP has externally reviewed and provided assurance in respect of this Statement. Please note that, from April 27, 2018 to December 31, 2020, IBA was authorized as a benchmark administrator under the EU Benchmarks Regulation (the “EU BMR”). Following the conclusion of the transition period in relation to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, commonly referred to as “Brexit”, which ended at 11:00 pm on December 31, 2020, IBA ceased to be authorised as a benchmark administrator under the EU BMR and is now authorised as a benchmark administrator under the UK Benchmarks Regulation (the UK legislation and rules onshoring the majority of the EU BMR following Brexit, as amended, the “UK BMR”). Benchmarks provided by IBA may continue to be used by supervised entities in the EU under EU BMR transitional provisions.
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. IBA also publishes the benchmarks in British Pounds and Euros.
N.B. The gold and silver auctions settle against US Dollars only. The benchmarks in British Pounds and Euros are not tradeable directly through the auction.
The terms of reference of the Precious Metals Oversight Committee include reviewing the methodology.
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 British Pounds and Euros using foreign exchange rates from when the final round ended. N.B. the gold and silver auctions settle against US Dollars only. The benchmarks in British Pounds and Euros are not tradeable directly through the auction.
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 (please refer to the section on Participation below).
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:
There are two categories of participants in the IBA Precious Metals auctions:
Direct Participants share the imbalance, whereas Indirect Participants do not.
The criteria for becoming and remaining a Direct or an Indirect Participant are:
|Eligibility Criteria||Direct Participant||Indirect Participant|
|LBMA Membership (including Affiliates)|
|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|
The current participants are:
|Bank of China||Direct Participant|
|Bank of Communications||Direct Participant|
|Citibank, N.A. London Branch||Direct Participant|
|Coins ‘N Things Inc.||Direct Participant|
|DRW Investments, LLC||Direct Participant|
|E D & F Man Capital Markets Limited||Indirect Participant|
|Goldman Sachs||Direct Participant|
|HSBC Bank USA NA||Direct Participant|
|Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)||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|
|Koch Commodities Europe Ltd.||Indirect Participant|
|Morgan Stanley||Direct Participant|
|Standard Chartered Bank||Direct Participant|
|StoneX Financial Ltd||Direct Participant|
|Toronto-Dominion Bank||Direct 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.
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.
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: [email protected].
Minutes of previous committee meetings (including the LBMA Gold Price Oversight Committee) are available here:
End of round prices, volumes and imbalances for each auction can be viewed on WebICE and through licensed redistributors during the auction process.
Transparency Reports are also available from IBA and through licensed redistributors, which provide delayed, historical price and volume information for each round of each auction.
There are five types of license for the LBMA Gold and Silver Prices:
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|
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.