The financial situation in the UK is in an uproar today as regulators are looking into the unauthorized use of audio feeds from the bank of England press conference. These would have given traders access to market-sensitive remarks by its policymakers just seconds before the rest of the world, giving them an unfair advantage.
Bank of England said on Thursday that an audio feed of some of its press conferences had been leaked to external clients by a third-party supplier of the feed since dating back to earlier this year. An incident such as this could spell financial disaster as that information can be used to manipulate the market.
To cover itself from possible blowback the bank of England issued this statement this is audible use of the audio feed was without the bank’s knowledge or consent and is being investigated further. The matter has been handed over to the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates UK financial markets much the same way that the SEC regulates the United States. The FCA has, in fact, acknowledged through email that they are looking at the issue now.
A British newspaper known as the times was the first to report the breach the British newspapers said that high-speed traders who hope to profit by being the first to act on the bank of England broadcast two journalists were the recipients of the audio feed. The Central Bank did say that the leaks related only to press conference is that followed monetary policy statements where announcements on interest rates are made.
The problem is that market Watchers carefully follow these events for clues on the future direction the interest rates might take and use this information to trade currencies government bonds and other financial assets. This would be virtually the same thing as the entire United States and the rest of the world gaining access to the New York Stock Exchange readouts the day before trading.
As to why the audio feed had been installed in the first place is pretty simple. It has been installed act as a backup in case video recordings of the press conferences failed. The Central Bank did say that the third party’s access to future endeavors has been permanently disabled and that these proceedings do not apply to the latest release.