The five banks that settle every transaction in London's $6.8 trillion a year gold market are changing the rules of their clearing house to make it easier for newcomers to join.
The reform is part of a broad overhaul of institutions that underpin the world's largest bullion trading center to make them more transparent after accusations of price manipulation by banks and traders and pressure from regulators.
As that pressure increased, the number of banks clearing gold transactions through a company they own called the London Precious Metals Clearing Limited has dwindled from seven to five. They are HSBC, JPMorgan, Scotiabank, UBS and ICBC Standard.
Several banks have attempted to join the group in recent years. ICBC Standard joined in 2016 after months of wrangling over conditions and an application from at least one other, Goldman Sachs, was declined, sources in LPMCL member banks said.
Opening the company up to new members could help make the market more competitive.
Asked about the changes, Ruth Crowell, Chief Executive of London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), which provides administrative services for LPMCL, told Reuters in an emailed statement that LPMCL had recently been restructured.