February was the largest month ever for trading activity processed by CLS with the service handling $1.949 trillion per day, up 8% month-on-month and up a fraction over 30% year-on-year.
Within that data for February 2018 just over $1.3 trillion was in FX swaps, $542 billion in spot and $100 billion in forwards. The greatest year-on-year growth came in FX swaps, up 33.6% from February 2017, followed by spot at +26.9% and forwards at +8.7%.
CLS acknowledges the greater volatility in markets as a factor in the rise – of those platforms to publish monthly spot data only Fastmatch failed to beat the 30% year-on-year increase mark at +27.1%. Elsewhere, NEX and Thomson Reuters both registered 34% gains, CME and GTX around 45% increases, while FXSpotStream reported a 54% increase and CboeFX a huge 63.7% rise.
It also points to greater participation, however, with David Puth, CEO of CLS saying,
“The steady rise in volatility coupled with a multi-year effort to bring new business to the CLS platform is evident through the record amount of activity. Average daily traded volume submitted to CLS was USD1.949 trillion, up 30% year on year, while the number of transactions was up 18% during that time.
“Looking beyond February’s record figures, we have seen a steady increase in traded volumes submitted to CLS throughout the second half of 2017 and now well into March of this year,” he adds. “The addition of new members, new products and new third parties over the past several years has a leveraged impact on traded volumes at CLS. As volumes increase, an additional benefit is the reduced cost of an incremental transaction to our clients.
Joe Ziccarelli, global head of sales at CLS, adds, “While increased market activity no doubt reflects ongoing market volatility, it also demonstrates a network effect of our direct market engagement, in particular with third party buy-side participants. As we continue to engage with the broader market and drive participation, we have seen substantial growth from the buy-side through the support and commitment of both global and local custodians as well as other third-party service providers.
“As asset owners, regional banks, non-bank financial institutions and corporates become ever more acutely aware of the risks associated with currency settlements outside of CLS, we can expect traded volume and participation to continue to increase,” he continues. “In addition as we bring new solutions to the market, such as CLSNet which will allow direct participation across more than 125 currencies, clients can expect to materially benefit from even more improved liquidity, credit optimisation, capital and operational efficiencies.”