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ISDA Publishes Benchmark Supplement The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has published the ISDA Benchmarks Supplement, which it says gives firms the ability to improve the contractual robustness of derivatives that reference interest rate, FX, equity and commodities benchmarks. The Supplement has been developed in response to the European Union Benchmarks Regulation, which regulates the use of a wide variety of benchmarks across different asset classes. The BMR requires contracts between supervised entities and their clients to set out the actions they would take if a referenced benchmark is materially changed, ceases to be provided or is prohibited from use.
Circle Continues Expansion With Barnett Hire Circle, a fintech firm that offers a range of services in the crypto space, has hired John Barnett as VP and global controller. In this capacity, Barnett will lead the firm’s accounting and tax teams and will also work to build out its business systems and procurement teams. Most recently Barnett was the CFO at Ironwood Capital Management and the Rhode Island Foundation. His career has also included management consulting at BCG, controllership at Teradyne and financial operations and planning at Fidelity and Cabot.
Daniels Joins Nomura

in News, People

Daniels Joins Nomura

Ian Daniels has joined Nomura as executive director, head of e-FX distribution, EMEA. Based in London, Daniels most recently worked at NatWest Markets as director, head of e-FX sales, EMEA, prior to this new role. At NatWest Markets, he was responsible for the distribution of the bank’s electronic offering to financial institutions and corporates across the EMEA region. Daniels joined NatWest in 1998 and held a variety of roles within the bank’s FX business, joining the e-commerce team in 2006.
CLS Volumes Dip in August

in News, Banks

CLS Volumes Dip in August

The average daily volume (ADV) of FX trades submitted to CLS in August was $1.6 trillion, down 2.1% from the $1.64 trillion in July. FX Spot ADV was actually slightly up in August, according to the CLS data, rising to $425 billion from $416 billion in July. FX Swaps ADV was down however, dropping from $1.2 trillion in July to $1.1 trillion in August. Similarly, the ADV for FX forwards went from $107 billion in July, down to $83 billion in August. Year-on-year (YoY), the total FX ADV recorded by CLS was up 1.5% for August.
BoA Latest to Settle with CFTC Over ISDAFIX Bank of America (BoA) has become the latest firm to settle with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over the attempted manipulation of the ISDAFIX benchmark, agreeing to pay a $30 million civil monetary penalty. The CFTC Order finds that, beginning in January 2007 and continuing through December 2012, BoA made false reports and attempted to manipulate the US dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix (USD ISDAFIX) in order to benefit its derivatives positions, including positions involving cash-settled options on interest rate swaps and interest rate swap futures. James McDonald, CFTC Director of Enforcement, comments: “This marks the ninth CFTC enforcement action involving manipulative conduct in connection with the USD ISDAFIX benchmark. As this case shows, the Commission will continue to work vigilantly to ensure the integrity of critical financial benchmarks and hold all wrongdoers accountable, no matter how widespread the misconduct.”
New York Attorney General Highlights Crypto Platform Concerns A new report by the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) claims that certain cryptoasset trading platforms suffer from potential conflicts of interest, have yet to implement serious efforts to impede abusive trading activity and provide customer fund protections that are either limited or illusory. The OAG’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative was launched in April 2018 as a fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of virtual asset trading platforms. The OAG sent letters and questionnaires to thirteen major trading platforms, with the questions reflecting areas of special concern for everyday retail customers, such as site outages, fees, and the effects of automated or "bot" trading.
NEX Group Subsidiary Agrees $50m Settlement Over ISDAFIX Manipulation Intercapital Capital Markets (Intercapital), a NEX Group subsidiary formerly known as ICAP Capital Markets (ICAP), has agreed a $50 million settlement with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in relation to allegations that some of its brokers aided and abetted attempts by several of its bank clients to manipulate the ISDAFIX benchmark. A CFTC order issued today finds that over more than five years, beginning in at least January 2007 and continuing through December 2012, ICAP’s swaps brokers were regularly enlisted by traders at bank clients to assist in attempting to manipulate the US dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix (USD ISDAFIX) for the benefit of their bank clients’ derivatives positions, including positions involving cash-settled options on interest rate swaps.
Ramon, Conlan Leave INTL FCStone Edgar Ramon has left his position as global head of FX at INTL FCStone, according to market sources. He leaves after thirteen years with the firm, where he was based in its Chicago office. Ramon’s next destination is not known at this point in time and Profit & Loss understands that INTL FCStone has yet to name a replacement. Separately, Profit & Loss understands that Joe Conlan, global head of FX sales at the firm, has also left. Conlan joined the firm in 2007 from AM Rosenthal - he also had stints at Currenex, Integral Development, CME, Cognotec and EBS. Conlan's plans are also unknown. 
Changing Market Structure a Challenge to Central Banks’ Monitoring of FX Markets: BIS The Bank for International Settlements’ Markets Committee has released a report by a recently-formed study group, which looks at the evolution of what it terms fast-paced electronic markets, focusing mainly on spot FX, and the challenges this evolution has for central banks. The report says the market structure changes have implications for central banks’ approaches to market monitoring, including the range of participants with which they engage, the types of data they collect, and the tools and technologies they utilise.
Puth to Step Down as CEO of CLS

in News, People

Puth to Step Down as CEO of CLS

David Puth is stepping down as the CEO of CLS after leading the company since 2012. Chairman Kenneth Harvey will act as interim CEO until a successor is named. Puth will remain with CLS through 30 November to ensure a smooth transition. While Harvey serves as interim CEO, CLS independent director Bryan Osmar and director Rick Sears will assume the responsibilities of chairmen of the board of CLS Group Holdings and CLS Bank International. CLS has retained an executive search firm and is evaluating candidates for the CEO role.