Following a report by The Times newspaper, the Bank of England (BoE) has admitted that a rogue supplier has been misusing feeds of its press briefings, to make available market-sensitive information available to traders seconds before rivals.
This third-party supplier had accessed a back-up audio feed of some of its press conferences without its consent, and supplied it to “other external clients”.
Briefings by Mark Carney, BoE’s governor, and other top central bank officials often move markets and early access to them typically allows traders to make millions.
Incidentally, Carney is scheduled to leave the bank within weeks. His replacement is expected to be announced soon after last week’s national election.
The central bank did not name the third-party supplier who had been misusing the audio feed since earlier this year.
“This wholly unacceptable use of the audio feed was without the Bank’s knowledge or consent, and is being investigated further,” said Carney.
The Times reported that the audio feed was intended as a fallback option if the BoE’s official video feed of the press conference went down
BoE’s spokesman stated that it had referred the misuse of the feed to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Once the misuse was identified, the BoE curbed the supplier’s access and that the supplier did not distribute feeds from its most recent news conference; the supplier will also not be involved in any conferences in the future.