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Australia Moves into Line Over Client Funds The Australian government has announced it is proceeding with reforms regarding the use of client funds by OTC derivatives brokers. The move will bring the country into line with other jurisdictions such as the US and Canada and mean client funds held by retail brokers will have to be held in trust. Australian-domiciled retail brokers can currently use money held on behalf of their clients for a wide range of purposes, including for working capital. Use of client money for these purposes is either not permitted, or is more heavily regulated, in a number of other G20 economies. This means Australian retail clients are at a greater risk of loss in the event of a broker’s insolvency.
Further Mixed News from FX Venues Thomson Reuters and Moscow Exchange both saw relatively flat performance in October compared to September, however both bucked the year-on-year trend at other platforms by seeing a decline over the 12 month period. Thomson Reuters says it handled spot average daily volume (ADV) of $95 billion in October, a fraction up on September’s $94 billion but 8.6% lower year-on-year. Across all FX products the company’s platforms handled $269 billion, slightly lower than September’s $271 billion but 8% higher than in October 2015. This continues a pattern this year that has seen Thomson Reuters persistently report lower year-on-year volumes in spot but higher ADV in the broader product set. Meanwhile, Moscow Exchange says it handled RUB 1,232 billion in October, 1.6% lower from September and 11.7% lower from October 2015.
More Mixed News from FX Platforms CME, EBS and FXSpotStream have all released October volume data, and, as was the case with the first group to report, the news is very mixed. EBS says FX volume averaged $83.8 billion in October, 3% higher than September’s $81.7 billion and a fraction higher than October 2015’s $83.1 billion. Meanwhile the outlook was gloomier at CME Group where the Merc reported average daily turnover of 771,000 contracts in FX products, 5% higher than October 2015 but down 20.4% on September’s data. Profit & Loss estimates ADV at CME in FX products to be $88 billion in notional value across futures and options on futures. It was a different picture at FXSpotStream, however, where the platform registered $17.1 billion ADV, up 24.5% from October 2015 and also up 10.3% month-on month.
A New Twist On An Old Investigation? FX Options Brokers Still Under Scrutiny In November last year Profit & Loss reported on an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into practices and conduct on the FX options desks of three major inter-dealer brokers. Now, according to a report, that investigation is not only ongoing, but it has broadened beyond the original "spoofing" or "flying" of fake bids and offers, into a look at the what may be the inappropriate sharing of market information and the rigging or influencing of market auctions.
Thomson Reuters Sees Sterling Volumes Boost from Flash Crash Thomson Reuters says its sterling volumes trebled on October 7, the day of the Cable flash crash which saw the pair drop from above 1.25 to below 1.15 before recovering to 1.24. The company does not break down its volume data by product or currency on a daily basis and provides no further details, however this would appear to be further evidence of the phenomenon in FX markets whereby dealers typically head to the major matching venues of EBS Market and Thomson Reuters Matching when markets get hectic.
Cuts at ADS Securities as Firm Refocuses on Abu Dhabi Market sources tell Profit & Loss that up to 13 people are being released from ADS Securities in London as part of a plan to downgrade the office’s status and refocus the business back in its Abu Dhabi headquarters. The changes come just over two months after ADS announced a series of management changes, one of which saw Marco Baggioli promoted to global head of brokerage and relocate from London to Abu Dhabi. This month also marks two years since ADS established a London office following the re-branding of its retail business Pioneer Trading.
Latest Platform Volumes Show Mixed Performance The latest batch of monthly volumes to be reported by the multibank FX platforms are more mixed, after Hotspot, FastMatch and Gain GTX all posted month-on-month and year-on-year increases in their September volumes earlier this week. Although volumes on EBS, FXSpotStream and CME Group all recovered from August – when trading volumes were significantly down across the board – activity on the first two of these platforms was down year-on-year, while CME posted only a marginal increase in comparison to September 2015.
TP-Icap Names Executive Committee Members Tullett Prebon has named its global executive committee in anticipation of a successful completion of its deal to acquire Icap’s hybrid broking and information business later this year. “These appointments are being made after a rigorous and extensive review process and determination of the best initial structure for TP Icap,” the firm says, adding that each member of the committee will report to John Phizackerley, the group chief executive. The committee will oversee the strategy and management of TP Icap, and will monitor and govern the commercial and financial performance across the regions, global business lines and global corporate functions.
September Reporting Shows Platforms Bounce Back The first FX platforms to report their monthly trading volumes show that trading activity bounced back in September after a significant slowdown in August. Hotspot, FastMatch and Gain GTX all reported increases in average daily volume (ADV) on their platforms, both month-on-month and year-on-year. Hotspot registered an ADV of $28.3 billion in September, a 25% increase from August and an 8% year-on-year increase. GTX reported an ADV of $8.4 billion on its ECN and SEF combined for September, a 30% increase from the previous month and a 29% increase from September 2015.
New Prime-of-Prime Service Launches in London A new London-based prime-of-prime service, Stater Global Markets, has launched today, with former Citi, IG and Integral executive Ramy Soliman appointed as CEO. The FCA-regulated brokerage is seeking to capitalise on the fact that many traditional prime brokers (PBs) have either pulled out of this segment of the market completely or have reduced the number of firms that they are willing to provide services to, leaving a gap in the market for prime-of-prime to potentially fill. “Risk appetite and credit appetite at the traditional prime brokers has contracted post-SNB