Nine LME traders have been fined almost £14,000 for
breaching last Friday one of the LME’s many rules
of decorum. Their crime? Standing up when trading.
In a rare mass
disciplinary notice, traders from nine of the eleven category
one members of the LME permitted to trade inside the red
leather-seated ring were fined by the exchange for violating
While shouting and bizarre hand signals are permitted, the
ancient rule still goes that a trader in the ring must never
leave his seat because it might obstruct another
trader’s line of sight during the five minute
Traders are allowed to adopt a (slightly curious and
apparently uncomfortable) standing squat (see picture) while
trading but under one of the LME’s many antiquated
rules they must always have one heel against the base of their
But the rule against standing is just one of a number of
strict rules in force at the LME, which cover everything from
chewing gum to drunkenness. If you want to be a LME trader,
Dress – male staff must wear a
suit and shirt with the top button fastened, collar and tie,
and dark shoes (no trainers). Hair must also be neat and
presentable. For female staff, attire should not expose the
body in an appropriate manner.
Food and beverage – chewing gum is
prohibited at all times. All types of food, drink and sweets
are also forbidden whilst dealing.
Technology – the use of mobile
phones and other mobile devices is strictly prohibited in the
ring dealing area.
Behaviour – foul and abusive
language must not be used. Unacceptable, slovenly or
overzealous behaviour is also prohibited. Drunkenness is a
disciplinary offence. Reading magazines or
books is also not allowed.
excessive noise from behind the ring while
dealing is in progress or the official prices are being
announced is prohibited.
Under LME rules, first time offenders are penalised
£500, and the fines double with every subsequent
More serious offences, such as standing up in the ring,
attract a stronger punishment however and each indiscretion
commands a £1000 fine, which then doubles after every
Last month the LME decided it will keep its ring, the last
open outcry pit in Europe, open beyond 2015, something which
LME’s chief executive Garry Jones said was based
on a 'business decision’.