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Foreign exchange: Barclays FX has its resolve tested

Loses key personnel; Still maintains ambition to be top FX house

In the past decade Barclays FX has gone from a second-tier player to being a powerhouse that has its sights set on being the world’s number one FX provider. However, the recent loss of key personnel has called this ambition into question. In 2000, Barclays ranked a lowly 12th in the Euromoney survey, with a paltry market share of 2.07%. This year’s survey ranked it in third position, the same as the previous year, but closing the gap to the second-placed UBS with a market share of 11.08%. Moreover, it ranked second among real-money and leveraged-fund clients, and it consolidated number two position in the electronic markets, a key battleground for FX banks. Its Barx system, garnered a 19.4% share of the market, behind Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn’s 26.4%. In recent years it has been the momentum story in the FX market.

FX market leaders, then and now

2000 Mkt. share % 2010 Mkt. share %
1 Deutsche Bank 12.53 Deutsche Bank 18.06
2 Chase Manhattan 8.26 UBS 11.30
3 Citigroup 8.07 Barclays 11.08
4 Warburg Dillon Read 5.02

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