From the May 2011 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Electronic FX Systems Inching Up

Greenwich sees small shift toward single-bank FX trading platforms.

There was a small uptick last year in the portion of companies that use electronic platforms to trade foreign exchange, according to a survey by consultancy Greenwich Associates, which shows 53% of corporate traded forex electronically in 2010, up from 50% in 2009.

At the same time, there was a slight tick down in the portion of companies that use multibank platforms, to 82% in 2010 from 83% in 2009, and a small rise in the portion that use single-bank or proprietary platforms, to 31% last year from 29% in 2009, according to Greenwich.

The small shift toward single-bank platforms reflects the convenience factor, says Peter Kane, a consultant at Greenwich. “Ease of use is a big part of corporations’ executing foreign exchange electronically,” he says.

A treasurer trading through a multibank platform is “going to have to make a payment, do the confirmation, do the paperwork,” Kane says. “It’s going to be a little easier for you if you do it through your core bank.”

And while multibank platforms position themselves as a way to get better rates, Kane notes that the forex market is increasingly transparent. “You can go onto the Internet and find a two-pip spread,” he says.

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