Membership categories

The London Metal Exchange (LME) has seven categories of membership within the Base Service, and three categories of membership within the LMEprecious Service, each with its own criteria and capabilities.

Category 1

These members have the exclusive right to trade LME Contracts by open outcry in the Ring, in the telephone market and on LMEselect and are entitled to issue Client Contracts to their clients. As clearing members, they are permitted to clear trades on their own behalf and on behalf of their clients and, as a result, must be members of the Clearing House.

Find a Category 1 member

Category 2

These members are clearing members and are permitted to trade LME Contracts in the telephone market and on LMEselect and issue Client Contracts. As clearing members, they are permitted to clear trades on their behalf and on behalf of their customers and, as a result, must be members of the Clearing House.

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Category 3

These members are clearing members and are permitted to trade LME Contracts in the telephone market and on LMEselect but are not permitted to issue Client Contracts, being proprietary traders. As clearing members, they are permitted to clear trades on their own behalf only and, as a result, must be members of the Clearing House. 

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Category 4

These members are not clearing members and must appoint a designated clearing member to clear trades on their behalf. These members are permitted to trade Client Contracts in the telephone market and on LMEselect and are permitted to issue Client Contracts.

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Category 5

These members may be customers of Category 1, 2 or 4 members, in which case they receive Client Contracts but are not permitted to issue them, or they may be physical market participants who wish to be associated with the LME brand. Category 5 members are not required to be regulated.

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Category 6

Individuals within the industry who wish to be close to the LME community in particular.

Category 7

An honorary membership conferred on individuals at the discretion of the Directors.

General Clearing Member

General Clearing Members (GCM)'s can trade and clear LMEprecious Contracts on behalf of themselves and their Clients.

Find an LMEprecious GCM

Individual Clearing Member

Individual Clearing Members (ICM)'s can trade and clear LMEprecious Contracts on behalf of themselves.

Find an LMEprecious ICM

Non-Clearing Member

Non-Clearing Members (NCM)'s can trade LMEprecious Contracts on behalf of themselves and their Clients, but must clear trades via an Administrative Clearer who is an LMEprecious GCM.

Find an LMEprecious NCM

There are two types of Registered Intermediating Broker (RIB) membership which offer different levels of access to our markets:

Tier 1 RIB member

Tier 1 RIBs can arrange trades for aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, tin, ferrous (steel scrap and rebar), LMEprecious (gold and silver), traded options, cobalt, molybdenum, aluminium alloy, NASAAC and new products.

Tier 2 RIB member

Tier 2 RIBs can arrange trades for ferrous (steel scrap and rebar), LMEprecious (gold and silver), traded options, cobalt, molybdenum, aluminium alloy, NASAAC and new products

To become a RIB member, candidates should contact the Market Access team.

If you are trading LME contracts and are interested in getting access to the RIB service, please find a step by step guide on getting set up and all required documentation here.

Find out more about getting access to the RIB service

The LME and Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE) offer a reciprocal membership arrangement (RMA) for applicants who already hold a membership or participantship at either one of the Exchanges.

Under the RMA, the LME and HKFE plan to waive their respective first year’s annual subscription and application processing fees for new applicants with an existing membership at either Exchange.

Reciprocal membership of LME and HKFE allows broader access to products on each Exchange, and provides additional liquidity for new products.

For HKFE members wishing to join the LME, this arrangement covers LME categories 1 – 5, LMEprecious GCMs, ICMs and NCMs, and Registered Intermediating Brokers (RIB) memberships.

This arrangement is effective from 29 July 2019 until 29 July 2022.

Find out more

For HKFE members interested in reciprocal LME membership, please contact the LME Market Access team.

 For LME members interested in HKFE reciprocal membership, please visit the membership section of their website.

Further information can be found in LME Notice 19/241.

Regulatory Requirements:- LME Base members (Categories 1 - 4) , LMEprecious members and RIBs must be regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, a competent authority of an EEA State or benefit from an exclusion under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order (“RAO”).

Members wishing to issue LME registered client contracts to customers will need to demonstrate applicable regulatory authorisations.