LORD COPPER: Are banks losing their influence in metals?

May 08, 2012 | 07:00 AM |

In recent times, the nature of the metal market has developed in a particular way; the days of independent, mostly partnership, brokerages have gone. First, we saw an influx of producer interests taking ownership of the brokers, but that’s been superseded by the advent of the financial supermarkets in the business. Now, the big players in the brokerage field are largely banks or other financial institutions. From that base, they have then spread into the wider trading world, buying physical trading operations, logistics, warehousing and so on. It’s seemed for the last few years that the movement to bank dominance of the non-ferrous business was irreversible. They’ve been able to offer the economies of scale and the availability of (relatively) cheap money, which has....

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