PowerFill+: Barclays throws down the eComm gauntlet
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Foreign Exchange

PowerFill+: Barclays throws down the eComm gauntlet

It was off to Barclays Capital on Wednesday to see the unveiling of the new improved version of its Barx trading platform. The system, labelled PowerFill+, has been out in beta release with selected clients for a few months. Word has already filtered back about its impressive functionality, so I was looking forward to seeing for myself if it was as good as people have been telling me.

The previous version of Barx, released back in May 2007, allowed clients to post their own bids and offers into the system. At the time, this was a radical move, although the orders were not displayed to other clients. Barclays admitted that as well as allowing its customers to potentially reduce their trading costs by saving the spread, it would also serve to build up its own internal liquidity pool.

This would seem to have worked and according to Nick Howard, Barclays’ head of FX and emerging markets distribution, the bank has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 88% in its electronic volumes since 2003. The result is that now around 80% of its spot business is transacted on Barx, and it manages to internalise a huge proportion of this flow.

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