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Best electronic trading services for securities lending: Barclays Capital

Highly commended: Secfinex

Barclays Capital’s Strax securities lending platform is outstanding in bringing a level of transparency to the process that no other bank can provide. Strax enables custodians and borrowers to view each other’s availability and pricing directly. It seems the main reason others don’t offer such transparency is because this would allow borrowers to see exactly how much spread the bank is adding.

Borrowers appreciate the transparency as it enables them to make a more informed decision based on the perceived likelihood of the lending party calling the securities.

Borrowers using Strax can click on the desired security and trade immediately as all bids are firm. The borrower is also able to negotiate with the lender online.

Other features include a daily list of securities that cannot be shorted because there is no stock available. Market commentary is also available on the site, including aggregate availability across lenders’ portfolios of the FTSE International and Nasdaq 3000. 

Since winning this award last year Barclays Capital has continued to add new features. In January 2003, corporate bond functionality went live on the platform. Another new feature is the ability for borrowers to import a basket of trades into the system from a spreadsheet.

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