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Foreign Exchange

FX people moves: Standard Chartered’s G10 trading off to sunnier climes

Earlier this month, Standard Chartered announced that it was planning to move some of its trading operations from London to Dubai. This week, Richard Leighton, the bank’s global head of FX, told weeklyFiX which parts of his business will make the move.

“I am moving my G10 spot and options businesses to Dubai from London. The team of nine traders will be managed by Richard Selby, formerly head of London trading,” he says.

Leighton is keen to stress that Standard Chartered is not abandoning the UK. “We are absolutely not closing down London – some spot, forward and NDF and option traders will remain here,” he says. “We are creating a risk management hub in the Gulf which creates alignment with our extremely active customer franchise in the region both for G10 and GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] currencies. I think this will be the start of a trend and others will follow our lead.”

Standard Chartered has had a long presence in the Gulf; it opened its first office in the UAE in 1958. Its trading room is now located in the Dubai International Financial Centre, which apparently means it won’t pay any taxes. Leighton tells me this is not the reason for the move and that it has more to do with the revenues the bank derives from the region. I asked him if those nice hotels in Dubai, which he will no doubt have to stay in when he visits, also influenced the decision.

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