The Bank of England has admitted a rogue supplier has been misusing feeds of its press briefings, allowing high-speed traders access to market-sensitive information seconds before rivals.
After a report in The Times newspaper, the Bank of England said a third-party supplier had accessed a back-up audio feed of some of its press conferences without consent, and supplied it to "other external clients".
Briefings by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and other top central bank officials often move markets including sterling and gilts, and access to them early would potentially allow traders to make millions.
Mark Carney is due to leave the bank - which makes a policy announcement at noon - within weeks. His replacement is expected to be announced soon following last week's national election.
The third-party supplier, whom the Bank of England did not name, had been misusing the audio feed since earlier this year, the central bank said in a statement.
"This wholly unacceptable use of the audio feed was without the Bank's knowledge or consent, and is being investigated further," it added.
The feed was intended as a fallback option if the Bank of England's official video feed of the press conference went down, according to The Times.
A spokesman for the Bank of England told Reuters today that it had referred the misuse of the feed to the Financial Conduct Authority.
The supplier in question had been sending the feed to high-speed traders who seek to benefit from receiving comments of the bank's governor before others can, according to The Times.
The Bank of England curbed the supplier's access once the misuse was identified to it by the newspaper and said that the supplier did not distribute feeds from its most recent news conference and will not be involved in any conferences in the future.