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Foreign Exchange

Post-trade utilities struggle to gain momentum

FX industry utilities have been described as a mechanism for substantially reducing post-trade costs, but while market participants are interested in the potential efficiencies they offer, enthusiasm for implementing such solutions remains patchy.

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Technology vendors have long advocated the use of post-trade utilities as a means of not only reducing costs but also encouraging good market behaviour by weighting charges for manual or exception trades.

Research by FIS has found that the most disruptive market participants understand that post-trade utilities increase their ability to focus on client service and competitive differentiation by shifting the responsibility for commoditized processing to a utility vendor.

The FX industry needs to look at other over-the-counter (OTC) asset classes that have improved operational efficiency and resilience by migrating functions such as trade confirmation and lifecycle management to shared networks.

That is the view of Jane Hamilton, managing director for FX at IHS Markit, who says there is growing interest in centralizing key functions such as trade affirmation and confirmation.

Challenge

However, Capco managing principal Alan Philpot observes that although there is interest in the concept, few utilities have succeeded in generating momentum. He refers to the challenge of realizing cost savings while migrating transactions into a controlled service model and handling complex transitions.

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