Annual Report 2022
Financial Market Development
Global Precious Metals Code Consultation
During 2022, LBMA formed a Global Precious Metal Code Working Group made up of over 30 representatives from Members and Refiners, supported by Simmons and Simmons and the Financial Markets Standards Board (FMCB).
The rationale was to review and revise the Global Precious Metal Code (Code) – first published in May 2017 – to consider changes made in the FX Code and UK Money Markets Code, along with a focus on remote working, D&I, physical settlement risks and the environmental, and social and governance themes. In addition, the Code was reviewed to ensure it references FMSB Papers and Spotlight review, Responsible Gold and Silver Guidance, and Conflict Minerals Legislation.
LBMA launched the first public consultation on July 29, 2022, which resulted in more than 60 comments by its deadline date of September 12, 2022. All comments were considered by the Working Group and, where appropriate, were included in the draft for version 2.
Consequently, a second public consultation was issued on October 7, 2022 which requested feedback by October 31, 2022. In the interim, a Regulatory Workshop took place at the LBMA/LPPM Global Precious Metals Conference in Lisbon, which also discussed the background of the Code revision exercise.
By the close of the second consultation, LBMA received a few grammatical corrections and one subsequent proposal which was considered by the Working Group.
Version 2 of the Global Precious Metals Code was launched on December 13, 2022.
Gold as a High-Quality Liquid Asset (HQLA)
LBMA intends to lobby the Basel Commission on Banking Supervision (BCBS) members with an updated file relating to gold’s eligibility as a high-quality liquid asset.
The scope of work will be based on the seven criteria that BCBS lists within its published paper covering liquidity risks and in particular the Liquidity Coverage Ratio rule. The high-level list demands the following to be demonstrable:
- Low risk
- Ease and certainty of valuation
- Low correlation with risky assets
- Listed on a developed and recognised exchange
- Active and sizable market
- Low volatility
- Flight to quality
In addition to the listed criteria, there are further operational requirements such as rules on encumbrance. The Financial Markets Standards Board is writing the third section of the precious metals spotlight review which will cover pre and post trade transparency. This work is aligned with LBMA’s work on HQLA.
UK REACH is one of the main pieces of legislation for the regulation of chemicals in Great Britain, and is administered by the HSE and DEFRA, and has transitional provisions to reduce disruption to industry from the transition from EU to UK legislation.
Initially, the first current registration submission under UK REACH was October 2023. However, the UK governmental agency has undertaken a consultation which has resulted in an extension of the timelines to ensure there is sufficient time to develop policy and to make operational and legislative changes to implement the new model.
The registration submission format is also being revised as authorities have realised that the cost of accessing full EU REACH Registration Dossiers comes at a high price for existing EU REACH registrants, and even more for companies who will be first time registrants under UK REACH.
The new submission deadlines of each tonnage band have been put back by three years, to October 2026 (1000 tonnes or more per year), October 2028 (100 tonnes or more per year) and October 2030 (1 tonne or more per year).
This development allows companies to submit initial notification data in order to continue trading and then subsequently provide the full registration data.
The LBMA gold and silver price auctions administered by ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) both have 13 direct participants and 1 indirect participant. One new participant is due to go live imminently.
The LBMA gold and silver price auctions have performed extremely well in 2022, despite the residual impact of the global pandemic and market stresses linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The benchmarks have continued to remain liquid, reliable, transparent and robust.
Gold daily gross volumes passing through the auctions displayed a steady uptrend throughout the year, and averaged 390k oz in November 2022, the highest monthly average of the year at that point. Silver volumes were constant until November when there was a notable increase, with silver gross daily volumes averaging 5.59 moz, the highest average seen since IBA became the benchmark administrator.
IBA continues to have excellent and regular dialogue with the participants of both auctions.