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FX: Gain Capital dares to be different

FX retail leader might look offshore; Regulators’ moves “may not help investors”

"This business is still evolving; it’s still young. I think we’ll see another five years of tangible development"

Glenn Stevens, Gain Capital

It is easy to forget just how recently the retail foreign exchange market emerged. A decade ago, it barely existed; now it is an established and important global business. Retail FX was able to emerge for several reasons, including technology. But perhaps the main factor was the drive provided by a small group of entrepreneurs who recognized that it could be a viable product. The precise size of the market is hard to ascertain. Data from the 2008 Euromoney FX Poll suggested that as much as $80 billion a day could be flowing from the retail sector to the bank liquidity providers. More recent estimates suggest average daily turnover might be $125 billion.

Because there was no template, various approaches were taken by the first retail providers. Some viewed it as a technological exercise, while others saw it as akin to running a bookmaker. Very few saw it as an extension of the professional FX market.

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