Bloomberg is making headway with its version of the multibank FX platform – FX Go – which now has upwards of 31 banks live on the system since its first release last June. The service links participating banks with clients using the Bloomberg Professional Service, which can be accessed over a secure private network or over the Internet using Bloomberg Traveller.
Bloomberg first developed the service because of demand from its own customers, who already use it for pricing, news, analysis and trade execution in the fixed income, equity and money markets and wanted the same from FX says New York-based Jim Mahn, FX and applications manager.
The service is available at no extra charge to existing Bloomberg clients (corporates, institutions and asset managers) and those that don’t already have a Bloomberg terminal can try the service for a trial period, says Mahn. Some investment banks, such as AIG International (AIGI), say a very high percentage of their clients are already BB customers, so this has not been an issue.
Bloomberg’s first FX Go client was Bear Stearns, which was given a two-month exclusivity clause on a jointly developed product that was launched in June. The second to sign up was AIGI, whose service had similar exclusivity terms attached, due to the joint developmental work that went into that project as well. “We can get a bank’s page up and running in a day, although it takes two to four weeks to make sure it has the right look and feel for each bank,” adds Mahn.
The FX service allows clients to request and electronically execute spot, forward and, more recently, FX swap transactions on a single screen. Once a deal is confirmed, the system generates an electronic ticket, updates the system’s blotter and can pass automatically to the back office of both the bank and the client. And for fund managers, it can split trades between allocating accounts. In a recent enhancement, clients can now leave orders and have them filled electronically overnight.
So far, AIGI, Bank Boston SA, Bank of America, Bank of Montreal, Barclays Capital, Brown Brothers Harriman, Banco Itau, Bank Boston (Brazil), Bital Mexico, Bear Stearns, CIBC World Markets, Citibank Singapore, Credit Lyonnais, Comerica, Commerce Bank, Commerzbank AG, Fimat, Fleet Global Markets, HypoVereinsbank, Lloyds TSB, National Australia Bank, Nomura, Prudential-Bache, Scotia Capital, SEB Merchant Banking, Société Générale Capital Markets, Westpac Sydney and Wells Fargo are among those that have signed up for the portal, with 20 more waiting in the queue.
“What Bloomberg offers to customers and what makes it attractive, is that customers now have a single platform for their market news, analytics, pricing and execution,” says Mahn. “We have the real estate space that banks desperately want, because we’re already on customers desks.”