Electronic trading in fixed income markets: report by BIS (Bank of intl settlements) – worth reading!

An interesting report (well worth reading), published in January by The BIS (Bank of international settlements), looks at the impact of ‘electronification’ of the fixed income markets. The report was based on structured interviews with market participants,  and a survey of electronic trading platforms.

It argues that advances in technology and regulatory changes have significantly affected the economics of intermediation in fixed income markets and that electronification is changing the behaviour of investors. The rise of electronic trading is creating efficiencies for many market participants, improving market quality in normal times, lowering transaction costs and reducing market segmentation, while at the same time Continue reading

Future of Single-Dealer Platforms: SIs, MTFs or OTFs?

An excellent article in Risk.net covered also in FXWeek, looks at the future of Single-Dealer Platforms under MiFID II and discusses the options for bank platforms.

Should they register as:

  • Systematic Internalisers (SIs), which enables them to utlilise their own risk capital and trade on bilateral basis with customers
  • Organised Trading Facilities (OTFs), in which case they cannot use their own capital, and would in effect be running an agency business, but cannot run both an SI adn OTF under the same legal entity
  • Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF), which offers all to all trading

Initially, the SI regime seems obvious, as they can deploy their own capital, and trade with clients on a bilateral basis, which is what most SDPs currently do.

The test for an SI is that it Continue reading

Interesting Celent report on future of Spot FX trading technology & platforms

Just finished reviewing an interesting Celent report by Brad Bailey, on evolving spot FX market structure and technology trends in light of changes in global regulation, a blurring of traditional liquidity pools and the ongoing competitive landscape.

Brad touches on a number of the themes we have covered here over the year, but it’s always good to have someone else’s perspective on them.

The themes covered being: Continue reading

Buyside to start paying for research under MiFID II

The introduction of MiFID II regulations around Transparency, BestEx and Inducements will change the relationship between buyside firms such as asset managers , and the sellside banks and brokers who service these clients (although non-financial clients such as corporates will be excluded). In particular, the regulations will lead to the ‘unbundling’ of research from execution, and the effect will fundamentally change the way in which buyside firms pay for, and consume research across all asset classes.

Traditionally, buyside firms have ‘paid’ for research through a Commission Sharing Agreement (CSA), whereby the executing broker would ‘retain’ a portion of the commission paid for the trade to use to pay for external research and other services for the client. Buyside fund managers would typically allocate commission attributable to research on the basis of ‘broker voting’. However, this was seen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (and more recently here) as an inducement to trade, as it could encourage buyside firms to over-trade in order to gain larger share of research budget, rather than considering value for money.

Under MiFID II, the rules on inducements and paying for Continue reading

Inviting expert guest contributors to SingleDealerPlatforms blog

Dear Readers,

The SingleDealerPlatforms.org blog is nearly six years old. During that time, it has built a loyal and focused following, by providing insight into the dealer-to-client e-trading space. Exploring new trends and emerging opportunities, and looking at the business, technical and regulatory challenges facing participants.

Given the focus, it’s not surprising the blog is popular within banks. Actually, over Continue reading

LMAX FX report: Restoring trust in global FX markets (well worth reading)

Just finished reading a new report and survey from exchange operator LMAX, called “Restoring trust in global FX markets – Striking a balance between transparency and efficiency”.

It’s detailed, with lots of charts and tables and expert opinions, and covers much ground, including topics explored in recent posts around transparency, the FEMR report, and the issue of last look and more.

David Mercer, CEO of LMAX starts by stating:

Liquidity providers (LPs) and market makers need to be rewarded for the risks they take, and in order to enjoy the benefits of transparent price discovery and firm liquidity, customers must meet the costs of the service provided. Fair execution must come at a fair price, and transparency cannot come at the cost of destroying liquidity provision.

Customers have benefited from new technology, with spread compression and lower commissions. However, traditional LPs have had to invest heavily in technology to support globally distributed client base, whilst facing ever more sophisticated buy-side customers and smaller, more naturally agile competitors in the realm of liquidity provision (ie: non-bank market makers).

Mercer, adds that there is much that LPs can learn from these new entrants, including:

elements of exchange-style trading that create a fairer trading environment.

Proposals currently being considered to enhance transparency in the FX market risk disadvantaging Continue reading

Moving legacy SDPs to HTML5 (in stages)

Given the ubiquitous ‘write once, deploy anywhere’ nature of HTML5, it’s not surprising that almost all new Single-Dealer Platforms (SDPs) are being written in HTML5.

The trend started a while back, and in his 2013 white paper, HTML5 in 2013: Where Next? (2nd one in the list), Patrick Myles, Caplin CTO identified three key reasons why everyone was moving to HTML5:

  • The move to cloud delivered services and Internet distributed applications has driven the need for lightweight, access-anywhere GUIs.
  • Apple and Google have embraced HTML5 as the future, building new-generation browsers themselves for the first time.
  • The drive to mobile and tablets, and the desire to re-use apps and code across platforms

Although, as Myles pointed out, there are challenges with HTML5, as it lacked many of the enterprise development features and tooling that developers expect and need to efficiently build large-scale, maintainable apps. It’s still evolving, meaning not all features are universally supported. Continue reading