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Capital Markets

Foreign exchange: Volatility spike blocked at the back end

Platforms struggle to process trades; Aggregation services claim a victory

"By working with banks to aggregate tickets before they hit the back office, NetLink helped banks handle a very significant number of tickets"

Gil Mandelzis, Traiana

Most foreign exchange players will have welcomed the return of volatility during May that led to a surge in platform volumes, but there have been rumours that several banks struggled to cope – and not just at the front end. Obviously, the fact that prices are frequently gapping does cause some tension, but most leading e-commerce providers seem to recognize that being in the business requires a ‘win some, lose some’ approach.

More worrying is talk that several platforms slowed or even shut down because they were unable to process the number of tickets going through. It is a wonder why some banks still deliver retail, micro and client trades to their back offices without using an aggregation service.

For instance, during the excitement of May 6, as concerns about the debt position of Greece grew and uncertainty about the outcome of the UK general election added to the market’s nerves, several banks apparently stopped streaming prices.

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