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Foreign Exchange

Retail FX sales still booming

I went for a quick beer last week with Glenn Stevens, the chief executive of retail specialist Gain Capital. I haven’t seen Glenn since 1990, when he was at Bankers NY trading spot JPY. He was in town to open Gain’s London office and chatting away, he soon made it clear that the intention is to capture what he still very much believes is an expanding market.

He is not alone in believing that the retail market still has plenty of room to grow. I was somewhat intrigued to see that dbFX was exhibiting at the Euromoney Forex Forum, because I didn’t think it was necessarily the right venue to get in front of its target audience. But Betsy Waters, global head of dbFX, said she still received a very enthusiastic response.

Even if volumes were lower in the wider market in April, retail FX still appears to find itself in a perfect storm. As well as new traders coming to the market, the anecdotal evidence is that quite a few presently unemployed FX dealers are keeping their hand in and opening up accounts. One of the topics alluded to at the Forum is the blurring of the lines between market participants; in the past, this has frequently been used to describe friction between the banks and a new breed of supposed market makers.

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