Throughout my 18 years in the FX industry, AML (Anti-Money Laundering) / KYC (Know Your Client) training has been an annual requirement at the bank and broker level. Regulators have continually stressed the importance of AML / KYC training to help create an effective awareness of, and procedure for, financial crimes with the goal of protecting the firm and their clients. It is important to familiarize bank and financial institutions employees each year with anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures.
I thought it would be useful to compile a short list of the main differences found when trading OTC (over-the-counter) FX with an STP (Straight Through Processing / No Dealing Desk) “Prime of Prime” and a Retail brokerage.
The differences can be categorized as follows:
- Vetting / Onboarding
- Netting vs Hedging
As January 3, 2018 approaches, FX industry participants are busy reading through the new financial laws of “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (MiFID 2) in an attempt to understand how these will affect them going forward. Originally, MiFID was created following the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to standardize the regulatory disclosures for particular markets. MiFID 2 came along with a revised set of standards which will enforce transparency, enhance investor protection and expand reporting to regulators, effectively changing the way that Europe’s secondary markets function. The significance of these changes should not be underestimated as the regulatory expectations of higher quality data sets will most likely lead to more regulatory issues and fines. In a continuation of Advanced Markets’ ongoing, fact-finding series about MiFID 2, (High Impact Changes), I will be exploring the impact of the pending regulations, specifically on how they relate to those engaged in Algorithmic Trading - High Frequency Trading (HFT).
In 2016, we have seen some incredible market dislocation due to various global events (BREXIT, US Elections, OPEC, GBP Flash Crash, FOMC to name a few). Having experienced my fair share of these moves, I find myself in a unique position to be able to speak with a diverse group of market participants, ranging from Fund Managers to Hedge Funds and individual traders, each of them trying to successfully navigate through these turbulent markets.
Major market events are generally accompanied by periods of massive uncertainty, volatility and downright fear. It doesn’t matter whether these events are expected, like the Brexit vote, or unexpected like the SNB move last year, the outcome is the same. Many market participants have a few options on how to survive the dislocation. Fear of the unknown creeps into every financial exchange, instability reigns and price action is violent. These events has the potential to affect every trader, brokerage and bank for days, weeks and even years depending upon their severity and the resulting market fallout. Below, I will outline a few possible risk/reward strategies along with how to attempt to control the uncontrollable.
I should start by saying that this article may not be applicable to many market participants, but hopefully the information will be useful when for anyone looking to execute large market orders.
If you are an Institutional Trader, a Fund Manager, a Bank or, perhaps, a brokerage hedging positions, then you will almost certainly know that the job of executing a 20, 50 or 100 million trade can be
Topics: Prime of Prime
More times than not, an interested client inquiring about liquidity will ask the quintessential question, “What is Advanced Markets’ spread in EURUSD?” My standard, truthful response is always that, “the spread is dependent upon market conditions, as Advanced Markets is a true STP Prime of Prime and only provides aggregated liquidity from top tier, global banks. With that being said, EURUSD spread should normally sit within an average range of 0.3-0.5 given our ability to provide very deep liquidity due to our favorable bank relations”. Generally, when someone asks me this question, I will always follow up by mentioning our GOLD offering. In my opinion, Gold has the potential to offer a prospective brokerage (or Fund Manager) more than the EURUSD spread can when looking at future revenues. Many people look at the EURUSD first due to the fact that many brokers aggressively market their “tight” EURUSD spread in order to attract clients and get them in the door. Once they have them in, however, they tend to pile on the mark-ups across the other pairs in their offering.
This article originally appeared on Finance Magnates.
I have worked in the FX industry for the past 16 years but I believe that 2015 will stand out most as the year when the market was taught a very valuable lesson. When I look back upon this year, I can’t help feeling that, by applying a simple life principle, many of 2015’s pitfalls might have been avoided.
Topics: Thought Leadership
Over the past few years the traditional FX Prime Broker industry has been thinning out, creating a demand for the types of services they provided. The loss of the institutional big bank Prime Brokerage services has occurred due to credit risk, small profit margin, risk aversion and new regulation. This reaction by those larger prime brokers has been clearing the way for specialized FX Prime of Prime (PoP) firms to gain market share. A Prime of Prime brokerage is a one stop shop for retail brokerages, hedge funds, money managers and wholesale traders to access top tiered global bank liquidity, cutting edge technology, cost effective rollover rates and clearing services.
On January 15, 2015, the SNB (Swiss National Bank) caused a massive upheaval in the FX industry when they manipulated the exchange rate of the franc and unpegged their currency against the euro. This action threw the markets into complete panic, ultimately producing capitulation with the CHF pairs and creating catastrophic losses throughout the industry. Market participants were affected across the entire spectrum, all the way from the top tiered global banks down to individual investors. The large banks and market makers were able to absorb the losses (or major gains if B Book), but the smaller, more vulnerable, participants could not. Some brokerages were forced to close their doors due to negative balances as a result of the losses sustained from their client’s positions. A multitude of firms such as Alpari UK, Boston Prime, Excel Markets and Liquid Markets became insolvent, just to name a few.