Deutsche Bank To Withdraw From Gold Fix Amid Probe

Deutsche Bank will withdraw from gold and silver benchmark setting, or fixing, amid an investigation by German regulators into suspected manipulation of precious metals prices by banks.

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Deutsche, one of five banks involved in the twice-daily gold fix for global price setting, said it was dropping out of the process after withdrawing from the bulk of its commodities business.

"Deutsche Bank is withdrawing its participation in the gold and silver benchmark setting process following the significant scaling back of our commodities business," the bank said in a statement on Friday.

"We remain fully committed to our precious metals business."

In mid-December, German banking regulator Bafin 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.

At the time, Deutsche declined to comment on the FT report.

Bafin in December reiterated that besides benchmark interest-rate rigging by banks, it had been looking at other benchmark-setting processes such as gold and silver price fixings at individual banks.

A source close to Deutsche said on Friday it was seeking to sell its gold and silver fixing seats to another member of the London Bullion Market Association.

Gold fixing happens by teleconference with four other banks: Bank of Nova Scotia-ScotiaMocatta, Barclays Bank Plc , HSBC Bank USA, NA and Société Générale, all of which declined immediate comment on the Deutsche move.

Chairmanship of the gold fixing rotates annually among the member banks.