Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) is the first bank to go live on Cognotec AutoDeal Direct, a new browser-based automated FX dealing service. With $55 billion in total assets, North Carolina-based BB&T is one of the leading regional banks in the US. Its primary focus is community and small business banking.
The bank is introducing the Cognotec AutoDeal Direct service in two stages. Phase one, which has already been implemented, allows sales dealers to complete trades for their clients without any risk to the bank. This is because banks using the service choose other financial institutions to act as liquidity providers, thereby assuming the market risk of their customers’ positions.
“We don’t currently trade on the back of our corporate deal flows, so there is little opportunity cost in giving them up,” says Doug Parker, senior vice president, International Treasury. “In any case, transaction sizes vary enormously ‘ many are too small to be tradable. Passing this business up to a selected liquidity provider in conjunction with the cost benefits of automation allow us to compete ‘above our weight’ in the provision of foreign exchange services.”
The next phase of BB&T’s implementation will be to offer the product directly to their clients via the Internet. The bank already has an online cash management service, and the aim is to allow these clients access to the service from multiple points within BB&T’s online banking Web site.