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Tradition facilitates first ever, bilaterally-brokered AUD/USD swap trade using LCH SwapAgent

Tradition, one of the world’s largest interdealer brokers in over-the-counter commodity and financial products, has facilitated the first, brokered AUD/USD cross-currency swap trade using LCH SwapAgent.

The AUD/USD trade was executed between Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and another counterparty on 20 November 2019. Tradition’s global presence, market knowledge and connectivity ensured it was the ideal partner to facilitate this trade.

SwapAgent is a service designed to simplify the processing, margining and settlement of non-cleared derivatives. It benefits from LCH’s expertise in serving and managing risk for the cleared Rates and FX derivatives market.

Nathan Ondyak, Global Head of LCH SwapAgent, comments: “Since launching in 2017, customers trading non-cleared derivatives have utilised SwapAgent to gain many of the efficiencies that they have become accustomed to in the cleared market. We are delighted to welcome MUFG as one of our newest members to the service. The completion of the first brokered AUD/USD trade between bilateral counterparties using SwapAgent is an important milestone for participants trading cross-currency swaps.”

Amit Kantaria, Director in the Rates Trading Group at MUFG, EMEA, added: “MUFG is pleased to have been able to participate in the first brokered AUD/USD cross currency swap through SwapAgent. We believe that this is the first step towards an exciting future, and look forward to this evolution of the uncleared derivatives market.”

Mike Hayter, Manager of the cross-currencies broking desk at Tradition, comments: “Tradition is delighted to facilitate the first, brokered bilateral AUD/USD swap trade using LCH SwapAgent. This is a crucial service that improves standardisation, introduces efficiency and reduces operational and credit risk counterparties in the non-cleared derivatives market.”

London FX turnover hits record high

The results of a new survey released by the Bank of England have revealed record-breaking FX turnover in the UK during April this year.

The survey, compiled with the responses of 28 London-based institutions, shows that daily FX turnover during the month was a staggering $2,727bn – up 15% on October last year and 14% on April last year.

The Bank of England says this represents the highest reported turnover on record, beating the previous peak of $2,711bn set in October 2014.

Turnover in FX swaps accounted for the largest increase, growing by 18% compared with October last year. There was an 18% increase in turnover in the sterling-dollar currency pair, an 11% increase in euro-dollar trading and a 13% increase in dollar-yen. 

In particular, London’s turnover in the British pound rose to a record $351 billion, up 18% from October 2017 and nearly doubling from last year. This was driven largely by traders dumping the pound against the dollar when the Bank of England declined to raise interest rates.

The survey results reflect London’s continued position as the epicentre of the global currency markets, despite ongoing debate about the UK’s future trade arrangements post-Brexit. The UK growth rate in turnover also overtook US data revealed today by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which showed a 5.2% increase on a six-month basis and 11.7% year-on-year, with turnover only around one-third of that in London.

As ever, volatility has been the major driver for the increase in turnover. After years of ultra-low interest rates across the globe, central banks are beginning to diverge again in terms of where they set their policy rates. Growing concerns over a global trade war and political turmoil in the Eurozone have also contributed significantly to this volatility.

FX trading remains one of the City’s most profitable industries, and the Bank of England’s survey is a timely reminder of the dominance of the UK’s FX providers in a period of significant political and economic uncertainty for the country.