Is This The Company Behind The Bank of England Audio Leaks?
Last night we reported that The Bank of England disabled an audio feed of post-monetary policy decision press conferences after admitting an earlier report by the Times that it was used to give HFT traders, who were paying clients of an unnamed “third-party” feed supplier, a trading advantage, also known as frontrunning orderflow.
The feed, which was installed only as a back-up in case the primary video feed hosted by Bloomberg failed, “has been misused by a third party supplier to the Bank since earlier this year to supply services to other external clients,” the central bank said in a Wednesday statement.
“This wholly unacceptable use of the audio feed was without the Bank’s knowledge or consent, and is being investigated further,” the BOE added.
Naturally, the audio feed was shut down before today’s monetary policy statement which left rates unchanged.
And while the BOE didn’t identify the third-party supplier, in a follow up article on Thursday, the WSJ reported that Statisma News and Data, an audio-delivery tech company, covered public events in the U.K. since 2010, including Bank of England news conferences. The company said in a statement published on its website Thursday: “We DO NOT carry embargoed information and we DO NOT release information without it first being made available to the public.” A Statisma spokesman couldn’t be reached for further comment.
A YouTube account that purported to be from Statisma News posted videos of central bank conferences and other market-moving announcements over the last year. Some of the posted videos contained links to charts showing currency moves during the speeches. Among them were fluctuations in the euro during European Central Bank speeches, and the pound during Bank of England speeches.
Suggesting that this was indeed the company responsible for making HFT-heavy hedge funds such as Millennium and Citadel even richer, on April 29, the WSJ reported that a tweet from an account linked to Statisma’s website enticed customers to watch government news conferences through its feed. “Hear the news first…up to 10 seconds faster than watching them live on TV,” the tweet said.
Another tweet, posted Nov. 7, the same day that BOE governor Mark Carney was set to speak, said, “Sign up for a free trial at statisma.com to hear him first.”
Well, at least they were not engaging in false advertising. That said, the tweets which was taken down Thursday, were in retrospect not a good idea.
Did Statisma have access to “backup” feeds at other central banks? In a Dec 12 feed, Statisma boasted “Q&A for Christine Lagarde’s first ECB Press Conference starting now. Sign up for a free trial at statisma.com to hear it first“
Q&A for Christine Lagarde’s first ECB Press Conference starting now
Sign up for a free trial at https://t.co/8OwgvTtWRi to hear it first#ECB #ChristineLagarde $EURUSD #EconomicCalendar #Euro #interestrates #monetarypolicy #CentralBanks #Economy pic.twitter.com/2xCg4Lg3Tg
— Statisma News (@StatismaComms) December 12, 2019
For those wondering if the Fed was also hacked, all signs point to yes.
Federal Reserve Chair #JeromePowell House Budget Committee hearing on now
— Statisma News (@StatismaComms) November 14, 2019
Thu, 12/19/2019 – 13:10