The replacement for the near-century-old London gold fix will start in March, with the hope of attracting at least 11 members, including Chinese banks for the first time.

UK financial authorities are undertaking an assessment of financial benchmarks in the wake of a series of scandals, including over the gold fix.

The presence of Chinese banks would give the world's second-largest consumer of the precious metal a greater say in the global gold price. Participants in the fix aggregate orders from clients on to a platform to determine the price.

"Interest has been very positive and creates a more diverse pool of participants, which includes Chinese banks," said Ruth Crowell, chief executive of the London Bullion Market Association.

In October, China Construction Bank, the country's second-biggest state-owned bank, was admitted as an ordinary member of the LBMA.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China are also members.

London's gold market is an over-the-counter market between buyers and sellers, while prices in China are set through trading on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

However, the Financial Conduct Authority has yet to issue guidance about how it will regulate the new electronic auction, run by energy exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange, after banks opted out of a system that had been in place since September 1919 amid growing criticism that it favoured insiders.

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