Reported by Jamie McGeever, Reuters.com
Foreign exchange, the largest and one of the least regulated markets in the world, has for the last nine months been the subject of investigation by regulators around the world for allegations of price-rigging and collusion between traders.
Thomson Reuters is one of the two dominant global currency trading platforms, along with ICAP-owned EBS.
“We want to make sure people are using the platform for its intended purposes – genuine commercial interest in trading – and ensure that’s the kind of liquidity we’re getting,” said Phil Weisberg, global head of FX at Thomson Reuters.
After consulting with market participants over the last 12 months, Thomson Reuters is updating its Rule Book, a code of conduct designed to foster higher trading standards.
This will outline new guidelines for fill ratios, minimum quote lives, and tick sizes.
Fill ratios measure the proportion of client orders that are actually executed, the minimum quote life ensures orders are available long enough for potential counterparties to trade, and the minimum tick size helps ensure participants place real orders rather than just expressions of interest.
Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating allegations that senior traders shared market-sensitive information relevant for the London fix, which is set at 4 p.m. London time, using actual trades.
London is the hub of the global currency market, accounting for some 40 percent of the $5.3 trillion traded on an average day.
The key benchmark, known as the WM/Reuters fix, relates to several exchange rates including the euro, sterling, Swiss franc and yen. They are compiled using data from Thomson Reuters and other providers, and are calculated by WM, a unit of State Street Corp.
WM Company, a unit of State Street, is the administrator for the WM/Reuters Service. Through an agreement, Thomson Reuters is a primary source of rates to WM from which WM applies its methodology and calculates the benchmark. Thomson Reuters is one of the various distributors of the rate.