Currenex, one of the first online FX portals to launch two years ago, has extended its offering with expanded settlement and allocation functionality. At the same time, the portal is continuing its campaign of linking to banks’ auto-pricing systems.
The expanded allocation module enables corporates and funds to specify either default or customisable percentages for allocations per fund or sub-entity. Allocations can be carried out at any stage in the trading process (pre-trade by upload, or in the FXtrades user interface either before or after a trade is completed).
Lori Mirek, president and chief executive officer of Currenex, says that operations that used to be time consuming – such as confirmations – have become easier since the introduction of the online portals, because trade processes are recorded in full, and without manual entry. “If you have one trade that requires a breakout among 100 funds, there is a danger of what we call progressive errors,” she says. “This risk is minimised with our new functionality because you can pre-allocate trades or adjust them as you go.”
The new facility enables banks to see the number of splits when they respond to a price request and gives them immediate access to the allocation details after the trade is completed. Mirek points out that this improves upon Currenex’s existing audit and reporting capabilities.
The platform’s “Settlement Center” gives members the ability to automate approval of standard instructions, giving counterparties immediate access to settlement instructions and allocation details at time of execution. Currenex says it offers users the ability to store an unlimited number of settlement instructions.
Each instruction allows for either two or three tier settlements, supporting intermediary banks, and includes all Swift fields to create a complete record that can be transferred to both settlement and messaging systems, says Currenex. Users can then either download or integrate trade details and approved settlement into treasury management systems.
“Currenex’s extensive Settlement Center eliminates the need to call each counterparty via phone for confirmation,” says Susan Marks, director of international treasury at Sony USA. “Because of the complete straight-through processing, we are able to save time by sharing with our counterparties the same record for all instructions. In addition to the time and cost savings resulting from comprehensive allocation and settlement features, we have eliminated the tedious confirmation process by agreeing to recognise the Currenex trade record as a confirmed trade and approve the settlement instructions online via FXtrades.”
The portal is still driving towards getting as many banks auto-quoting on the system as possible. Following JP Morgan, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and HypoVereinsbank, Lehman Brothers has now also commenced auto-quoting. Other member banks are due to complete their auto-quote solutions shortly.
“Larger funds still want to make manual requests for quotes on the system because of the large volumes that they do and the expectation that they will receive tighter spreads,” Mirek adds. “Smaller and less active funds are interested in automation. Part of the philosophy behind Currenex is letting clients trade as they want on the system. We do not want to be prescriptive.”
The latest enhancements follow the addition in August of a money market loans and deposits module (see Profit & Loss, July/August 2002).