Franck Mikulecz, managing director of the newly established clearing house FXCH, explains why
and how his firm is using distributed ledger technology to clear spot FX
Profit & Loss: You’ve launched a clearing house to clear spot FX using ...
The BIS Triennial survey highlights the drop in spot volumes, but how does the platforms' performance compare over the same period?
So the latest Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Triennial Central Bank Survey is out and, as Profit & Loss previously reported, the headline figure is that the FX market has contracted in size from $5.3 trillion to $5.1 trillion traded per day over the past three years.
This news seems to have caught very few people by surprise, however the survey shows spot foreign exchange volumes are lower while FX swaps activity has grown considerably, especially in Asian centres and in the yen.
Two Australian banks, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have each made a “benefit payment” of AUD 2.5 million after the local regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) found they had inadequate controls to address risks relating to instances of inappropriate conduct in their offshore FX businesses.
ASIC says it identified attempts to manipulate FX fixes, front running and the inappropriate sharing of information by traders at CBA and NAB between 1 January 2008 and 30 June 2013.
Data from the world’s FX committees reinforces the sense that April was a minor outlier in FX turnover, with all but one centre reporting a slowdown in activity from April 2016 to October 2016.
In April 2016 – coincidentally the month of the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Triennial Survey of FX Turnover – there was a late spike in activity as the Bank of Japan surprised markets through its inactivity on monetary policy, leading to yen volumes soaring. This spike has largely been reversed in the latest surveys.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a report to coincide with the FX Global Code of Conduct which seeks to redress shortcomings in behaviour as well as to outline good practice on spot FX desks in the Australian market.
The report, which was compiled following an investigation into local banks’ practices and led to fines against the top five Australian banks, says, “We observed a lack of appropriate training and guidance, particularly in relation to handling confidential information, considering client interests and conflicts of interest, and executing stop loss and fix orders. Training sessions were rarely specific or tailored to the role of employees operating in the spot FX market. We also observed that employees frequently engaged in practices which were learned from their peers without question or challenge.”
Oanda has released a new version of its Exchange Rates API, which has been updated to include what the firm calls “real-time” currency rates.
The rates available on the new API are updated every five seconds, providing, the firm says, a more accurate reflection of current market prices.
The firm says the new API aims to provide corporate treasurers and finance directors with a greater degree of visibility over the FX market, helping them mitigate risk, reduce currency exposure and improve cash flow.
A new paper published by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) claims to throw new light on events surrounding the sterling flash crash of October 2016 by being the first paper to use trade reports to the FCA under EMIR to analyse how different market participants react in times of market stress and their impact on the liquidity dry-up in a flash crash.
The paper has, however, triggered some confusion amongst market participants thanks to ambiguous terminology, mainly the constant reference to “OTC derivatives”, without specifying exactly what products it is talking about.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has expressed disappointment at the failure of National Australia Bank to fully implement a reform programme linked to an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) levied by ASIC after deficiencies were found in the bank's wholesale spot FX business.
NAB, along with the other major Australian banks, were fined by ASIC in December 2016 for a series of failures in their FX businesses, including attempts at front running orders, manipulating fixes and inappropriately sharing confidential information.
Data released by Thomson Reuters shows that average daily volume (ADV) in spot FX across its venues rose by just under 2% in June from the previous month. This is in contrast to the other platforms to report volume data, with the exception of FXSpotStream, which also saw a month-on-month increase.
At $109 billion per day, Thomson Reuters’ spot volume in June was the second highest reported since February 2016 – it also represents, as was the case with the other platforms, a hefty year-on-year increase, in this case 10.1%.
Average daily volumes (ADV) for spot FX trading on Nex Markets was $81.9 billion in July, down 15% from the $95.8 billion reported the previous month.
Although this means that the volumes on the platform compared to July 2017, this in contrast to the other platforms that have already reported their ADV for last month, which were all up year-on-year, although they all reported a similar volume dip month-on-month.
Overall, for the 12 month period ending July 2018, the spot FX ADV on Nex Markets has been $89.7 billion, up 8% compared to the 12 month period ending July 2017.
Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services and the exchange group’s FX trading venue 360T are launching a product offering covering FX spot market as well as FX swap market data. The swap market information is based on a contribution model of liquidity providers developed in cooperation with the Germany-based company Digitec. The Market Data + Services group will act as licensor of the new offering and the data is available via the data feed of Deutsche Börse as well as via 360T’s streaming FIX API as “Swap Data Feed” SDF.
Profit & Loss understands that Danny Wise has left Citi in London where he was a managing director and head of European G10 spot FX trading.
Sources say that Wise was part of a round of cuts at the bank he joined in 2014 from Credit Suisse in London, where he was head of spot FX trading. Prior to Credit Suisse, Wise worked at Barclays in London for almost 10 years, most latterly as European head of spot trading, he joined the UK bank from Lehman Brothers.