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FX poll 2001: Forex transformed by mergers

In foreign exchange it's a truism that size matters. Niche players are being squeezed out of the market because they can't compete with the big banks on price, and even the heavyweights are swallowing each other up in a bid to become the most powerful institution. For now, there's one clear leader.

Citigroup has re-emerged in this year's eagerly awaited annual foreign exchange poll as the top dog. Last year, Deutsche Bank moved ahead of it, ending 20 years of dominance. Citibank had won the overall Euromoney poll each year since its inception in 1979 through to 1999. After the setback of 2000, Citigroup hit back with a vengeance. The 2001 poll comprises 71 separate categories: Citigroup is top in 48 of them, nearly 70%. But in the key poll its market-share lead over second place Deutsche Bank is slender. The rise of electronic marketplaces and recent and future bank mergers may alter the structure of the foreign exchange market.

Look down the list of top foreign exchange institutions over the past five years and one trend is impossible to miss.

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