* Process to choose new gold ‘fix’ operator to start late August
* Time needed to see how new silver fix unfolds
LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - The operator of the gold price ‘fix’ said on Tuesday the process to find a new administrator for the century-old benchmarking system will last one month from late August, and will be working by the end of 2014.
The London Gold Market Fixing Ltd (LGMFL), along with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), said in a statement that the choice will be announced in late September, as banks effectively call time on the current process.
A similar process to find a new price benchmark administrator recently took place in the silver market. That yielded an electronic auction mechanism, seen by dealers as a likely solution to other precious metals. It will replace a daily conference call with three banks from August 15.
The statement said time was needed first to sort out the new silver benchmark.
Regulators across Europe, the United States and Asia have scrutinised financial benchmarking processes following the Libor manipulation case in 2012.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which won the contest to administer the silver benchmark, jointly with Thomson Reuters, was the first to confirm its interest in bidding to operate the gold process too.
But the search for the new gold administrator will not be restricted to the companies that bid to replace the silver benchmark, which included the London Metal Exchange (LME) and U.S. derivatives exchange Intercontinental Exchange among others.
The LGMFL has just appointed a supervisory committee to oversee the benchmark that is made up of compliance officers at the four banks currently setting the twice-daily auction process over the telephone.
Other changes that the company is seeking to achieve will include a new code of conduct for participants and the appointment of an independent chairperson.
Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC, Societe Generale, and Barclays, making up the LGMFL, operate the gold fixing. Deutsche Bank withdrew in May after two decades. (Reporting by Clara Denina and Jan Harvey, editing by William Hardy)