Bank of England briefings hacked by hedge funds

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Bank of England briefings hacked by hedge funds

The Bank of England's internal systems have been hacked, with hedge funds accessing press conferences before they were broadcast.

One of the Bank's suppliers has been sending an audio feed of its press conferences to high-speed traders who hope to profit by placing trades based on the Governor's comments moments before they are announced, the Bank has discovered following an inquiry by The TimesHedge funds are often high-frequency traders and Governor Mark Carney's comments are known to move the value of the pound and gilt markets.

The BoE admitted it had discovered that a back-up "audio feed of certain press conferences has been misused by a third-party supplier since earlier this year to supply services to other external clients" and said it had "disabled the third-party supplier's access". 

The BoE admitted it had discovered that a back-up "audio feed of certain press conferences has been misused by a third-party supplier since earlier this year to supply services to other external clients" and said it had "disabled the third-party supplier's access". 

A spokesman added: "This wholly unacceptable use of the audio feed was without the Bank's knowledge or consent, and is being investigated further".

"The Bank operates the highest standards of information security around the release of the market-sensitive decisions of its policy committees. The issue identified related only to the broadcast of press conferences that follow such statements."

The Bank's official video feed of press conferences is managed by Bloomberg but contractors were hired to install a separate back-up audio feed several years ago in case the video feed went down. The audio feed has been hacked since at least the start of this year, with the information being sold on to high-speed companies, documents revealed.

 

This article was first published on sister website www.investmentweek.co.uk