FX Survey 2017: Fragile forex enters a new era
The FX industry has moved on from the fixing scandal and now wants to write its next chapter, underpinned by a new code of conduct. But liquidity remains fragile, volume is down and further challenges lie ahead.
Global turnover has contracted. Low interest rates, coupled with political and economic uncertainty, are stripping profit opportunities from speculative investors. And as the damaging benchmark-rigging scandal recedes into history, a new set of conduct principles is about to be unveiled to keep everyone’s behaviour under much tighter control and scrutiny.
At face value, there seems to be little incentive to work in the foreign exchange industry in 2017. Indeed many of the industry veterans that previously ran highly successful FX businesses of one type or another – including James Bindler, Kevin Rodgers, Phil Weisberg and Gil Mandelzis – have now stepped aside, leaving the future in the hands of a new generation.
Their future looks set to be very different. Trading practices will be rigorously scrutinized by all market participants; liquidity will be increasingly fragmented, with volume split across many more liquidity pools; and the latest technology will be used to delve ever-deeper into the true costs of execution. Despite the challenges, however, it is a future about which the industry’s new leaders appear to be excited.