After a number of years having to take reactionary measures in
response to new regulatory requirements, panellists at Profit & Loss’ Forex Network New York conference expressed
enthusiasm for a new wave of innovation that has the potential to re-shape FX
The Basel Committee on Banking
Supervision has issued a report stating that overall progress is being made in
introducing the Basel III requirements, although it notes that some
jurisdictions are facing “challenges” to meet implementation deadlines.
In its seventh report ...
Over the past few years, some FX prime brokers have gone from aggressively competing for market share to off-boarding clients and increasing their fees. What happened to make the pendulum swing so dramatically, and is it due for another reversal? Galen Stops reports.
Relatively speaking, it wasn’t all that long ago that banks were aggressively trying to build out their FX prime brokerage (FXPB) businesses and competition was fierce. This precipitated a race to the bottom in terms of fees by some FXPBs. Numerous market sources claim that Morgan Stanley was at the forefront of this race, although they note that a number of major FXPB players were not far behind.
It’s a valid question to ask FXPBs what constitutes a “good” client these days. Post-Basel III, firms taking big positions in non-spot products are going to consume vastly more balance sheet and capital than a firm trading only spot in smaller amounts, which can easily be serviced with a relatively little net open position (NOP).
This obviously suggests that, for example, an HFT deploying a spot-only strategy could potentially be a more attractive business proposition than a large macro fund trading longdated NDFs or options products.
However, speaking to a number of FXPBs, it immediately becomes apparent that such a view is too simplistic. One FXPB head says that this basic analysis is correct, but only assuming a legacy pricing model, which is derived primarily by frequency and size of transaction activity.
So we’ve just published our Q3 edition of Profit & Loss magazine, which includes our prime services special report, and I wanted to share some thoughts about one segment of it.
When I first started the report I was very negative on the prospects for FX prime brokers, over the eighteen months or so I’d heard so many complaints about credit constraints, about offboarding – I don’t think that was even a phrase that I’d heard prior to SNB – and the general retrenchment of FXPBs.
Now obviously SNB was a catalyst for a lot of these issues, but really it just exacerbated a trend that already existed and this was caused by the introduction of new regulations that made it more expensive for banks to offer FXPB services to a lot of clients.
Thomson Reuters has expanded its Connected Risk platform to include a Model Risk Management (MRM) solution, allowing institutions to demonstrate a real-time understanding of their model risk landscape, with the ability to report on the model’s governance status, sign-offs and related issues from a single platform source.
The firm says that financial modelling plays a critical role in several financial institution activities, including credit underwriting, risk management, capital adequacy and instrument valuation.
It adds that its MRM solution is designed to provide risk professionals with a holistic understanding of how each of these models in the business is derived, validated and applied.
The announcement by BNY Mellon this week that it is launching an FX prime brokerage (FXPB) service is interesting for a couple of reasons.
Superficially, it bucks a trend that has developed in recent years of banks scaling back, or even shutting down, their FXPB businesses. However, Profit & Loss already argued in a special report looking at prime services published in Q3 2017, that this trend was beginning to reverse itself.
So perhaps more significant is that it indicates that the barriers to entry in FXPB have been lowered as the cost of technology and infrastructure has both decreased and become more available.