Records trace bullion transactions in London back to the 17th century with the formation of the oldest original member of the market, Mocatta and Goldsmid, in 1684. It was, however, the introduction of the London Silver Fixing in 1897 and the London Gold Fixing in 1919 that marked the beginning of the market’s structure and of the co-operation between members that has created the marketplace as it is today.
The five members of the London Gold Fixing dominated the UK marketplace until 1980 when, fuelled by oil price inflation and spiralling international tension, gold reached $850 per ounce and silver $50. The level of activity and profitability in the market drew increasing global attention, which resulted in an influx of international players to London and set the market on course to become the centre of the international arena that it is today.
The growth in the number and type of market participants in the early 1980s, combined with the introduction of the Financial Services Act in 1986, brought about the formation of the LBMA in 1987.