Short term Thinking in Investment Decisions of Businesses and Financial Markets

Short term Thinking in Investment Decisions of Businesses and Financial Markets

 

When companies buyback shares and pay dividends rather than investing in new capacity, it leads to low economic growth and low aggregate demand.

Central Banks respond by cutting interest rates.  Yet Businesses do not invest in new capacity.

Many studies attribute this to short term thinking dominant in corporate investment decisions.  Pressures from shareholders push corporate managers to be short term oriented.

Many economists and thinkers have criticized this recently as advanced economies are suffering from anemic growth.

Larry Summers has invoked Secular Stagnation.  He says one of the reason for Secular Stagnation is short term thinking.

Andy Haldane of Bank of England has criticized short term thinking as it prevents investments and causes low economic growth.

Key Terms:

  • Quarterly Capitalism
  • Secular Stagnation
  • Short Term Thinking
  • Low Economic Growth
  • Business Investments
  • Real Interest Rates
  • Monetary Policy
  • Income and Wealth Inequality
  • Aggregate Demand
  • Productive Capacity
  • Productivity growth
  • Long Term Investments
  • Share Buybacks
  • Dividends
  • Corporate Cash Pools

 

Capitalism for the Long Term

The near meltdown of the financial system and the ensuing Great Recession have been, and will remain, the defining issue for the current generation of executives. Now that the worst seems to be behind us, it’s tempting to feel deep relief—and a strong desire to return to the comfort of business as usual. But that is simply not an option. In the past three years we’ve already seen a dramatic acceleration in the shifting balance of power between the developed West and the emerging East, a rise in populist politics and social stresses in a number of countries, and significant strains on global governance systems. As the fallout from the crisis continues, we’re likely to see increased geopolitical rivalries, new international security challenges, and rising tensions from trade, migration, and resource competition. For business leaders, however, the most consequential outcome of the crisis is the challenge to capitalism itself.

That challenge did not just arise in the wake of the Great Recession. Recall that trust in business hit historically low levels more than a decade ago. But the crisis and the surge in public antagonism it unleashed have exacerbated the friction between business and society. On top of anxiety about persistent problems such as rising income inequality, we now confront understandable anger over high unemployment, spiraling budget deficits, and a host of other issues. Governments feel pressure to reach ever deeper inside businesses to exert control and prevent another system-shattering event.

My goal here is not to offer yet another assessment of the actions policymakers have taken or will take as they try to help restart global growth. The audience I want to engage is my fellow business leaders. After all, much of what went awry before and after the crisis stemmed from failures of governance, decision making, and leadership within companies. These are failures we can and should address ourselves.

In an ongoing effort that started 18 months ago, I’ve met with more than 400 business and government leaders across the globe. Those conversations have reinforced my strong sense that, despite a certain amount of frustration on each side, the two groups share the belief that capitalism has been and can continue to be the greatest engine of prosperity ever devised—and that we will need it to be at the top of its job-creating, wealth-generating game in the years to come. At the same time, there is growing concern that if the fundamental issues revealed in the crisis remain unaddressed and the system fails again, the social contract between the capitalist system and the citizenry may truly rupture, with unpredictable but severely damaging results.

Most important, the dialogue has clarified for me the nature of the deep reform that I believe business must lead—nothing less than a shift from what I call quarterly capitalism to what might be referred to as long-term capitalism. (For a rough definition of “long term,” think of the time required to invest in and build a profitable new business, which McKinsey research suggests is at least five to seven years.) This shift is not just about persistently thinking and acting with a next-generation view—although that’s a key part of it. It’s about rewiring the fundamental ways we govern, manage, and lead corporations. It’s also about changing how we view business’s value and its role in society.

There are three essential elements of the shift. First, business and finance must jettison their short-term orientation and revamp incentives and structures in order to focus their organizations on the long term. Second, executives must infuse their organizations with the perspective that serving the interests of all major stakeholders—employees, suppliers, customers, creditors, communities, the environment—is not at odds with the goal of maximizing corporate value; on the contrary, it’s essential to achieving that goal. Third, public companies must cure the ills stemming from dispersed and disengaged ownership by bolstering boards’ ability to govern like owners.

When making major decisions, Asians typically think in terms of at least 10 to 15 years. In the U.S. and Europe, nearsightedness is the norm.

None of these ideas, or the specific proposals that follow, are new. What is new is the urgency of the challenge. Business leaders today face a choice: We can reform capitalism, or we can let capitalism be reformed for us, through political measures and the pressures of an angry public. The good news is that the reforms will not only increase trust in the system; they will also strengthen the system itself. They will unleash the innovation needed to tackle the world’s grand challenges, pave the way for a new era of shared prosperity, and restore public faith in business.

1. Fight the Tyranny of Short-Termism

As a Canadian who for 25 years has counseled business, public sector, and nonprofit leaders across the globe (I’ve lived in Toronto, Sydney, Seoul, Shanghai, and now London), I’ve had a privileged glimpse into different societies’ values and how leaders in various cultures think. In my view, the most striking difference between East and West is the time frame leaders consider when making major decisions. Asians typically think in terms of at least 10 to 15 years. For example, in my discussions with the South Korean president Lee Myung-bak shortly after his election in 2008, he asked us to help come up with a 60-year view of his country’s future (though we settled for producing a study called National Vision 2020.) In the U.S. and Europe, nearsightedness is the norm. I believe that having a long-term perspective is the competitive advantage of many Asian economies and businesses today.

Myopia plagues Western institutions in every sector. In business, the mania over quarterly earnings consumes extraordinary amounts of senior time and attention. Average CEO tenure has dropped from 10 to six years since 1995, even as the complexity and scale of firms have grown. In politics, democracies lurch from election to election, with candidates proffering dubious short-term panaceas while letting long-term woes in areas such as economic competitiveness, health, and education fester. Even philanthropy often exhibits a fetish for the short term and the new, with grantees expected to become self-sustaining in just a few years.

Lost in the frenzy is the notion that long-term thinking is essential for long-term success. Consider Toyota, whose journey to world-class manufacturing excellence was years in the making. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s it endured low to nonexistent sales in the U.S.—and it even stopped exporting altogether for one bleak four-year period—before finally emerging in the following decades as a global leader. Think of Hyundai, which experienced quality problems in the late 1990s but made a comeback by reengineering its cars for long-term value—a strategy exemplified by its unprecedented introduction, in 1999, of a 10-year car warranty. That radical move, viewed by some observers as a formula for disaster, helped Hyundai quadruple U.S. sales in three years and paved the way for its surprising entry into the luxury market.

To be sure, long-term perspectives can be found in the West as well. For example, in 1985, in the face of fierce Japanese competition, Intel famously decided to abandon its core business, memory chips, and focus on the then-emerging business of microprocessors. This “wrenching” decision was “nearly inconceivable” at the time, says Andy Grove, who was then the company’s president. Yet by making it, Intel emerged in a few years on top of a new multi-billion-dollar industry. Apple represents another case in point. The iPod, released in 2001, sold just 400,000 units in its first year, during which Apple’s share price fell by roughly 25%. But the board took the long view. By late 2009 the company had sold 220 million iPods—and revolutionized the music business.

It’s fair to say, however, that such stories are countercultural. In the 1970s the average holding period for U.S. equities was about seven years; now it’s more like seven months. According to a recent paper by Andrew Haldane, of the Bank of England, such churning has made markets far more volatile and produced yawning gaps between corporations’ market price and their actual value. Then there are the “hyperspeed” traders (some of whom hold stocks for only a few seconds), who now account for 70% of all U.S. equities trading, by one estimate. In response to these trends, executives must do a better job of filtering input, and should give more weight to the views of investors with a longer-term, buy-and-hold orientation.

If they don’t, short-term capital will beget short-term management through a natural chain of incentives and influence. If CEOs miss their quarterly earnings targets, some big investors agitate for their removal. As a result, CEOs and their top teams work overtime to meet those targets. The unintended upshot is that they manage for only a small portion of their firm’s value. When McKinsey’s finance experts deconstruct the value expectations embedded in share prices, we typically find that 70% to 90% of a company’s value is related to cash flows expected three or more years out. If the vast majority of most firms’ value depends on results more than three years from now, but management is preoccupied with what’s reportable three months from now, then capitalism has a problem.

Roughly 70% of all U.S. equities trading is now done by “hyperspeed” traders—some of whom hold stocks for only a few seconds.

Some rightly resist playing this game. Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Ford, to name just a few, have stopped issuing earnings guidance altogether. Google never did. IBM has created five-year road maps to encourage investors to focus more on whether it will reach its long-term earnings targets than on whether it exceeds or misses this quarter’s target by a few pennies. “I can easily make my numbers by cutting SG&A or R&D, but then we wouldn’t get the innovations we need,” IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano, told us recently. Mark Wiseman, executive vice president at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, advocates investing “for the next quarter century,” not the next quarter. And Warren Buffett has quipped that his ideal holding period is “forever.” Still, these remain admirable exceptions.

To break free of the tyranny of short-termism, we must start with those who provide capital. Taken together, pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, and sovereign wealth funds hold $65 trillion, or roughly 35% of the world’s financial assets. If these players focus too much attention on the short term, capitalism as a whole will, too.

In theory they shouldn’t, because the beneficiaries of these funds have an obvious interest in long-term value creation. But although today’s standard practices arose from the desire to have a defensible, measurable approach to portfolio management, they have ended up encouraging shortsightedness. Fund trustees, often advised by investment consultants, assess their money managers’ performance relative to benchmark indices and offer only short-term contracts. Those managers’ compensation is linked to the amount of assets they manage, which typically rises when short-term performance is strong. Not surprisingly, then, money managers focus on such performance—and pass this emphasis along to the companies in which they invest. And so it goes, on down the line.

Only 45% of those surveyed in the U.S. and the UK expressed trust in business. This stands in stark contrast to developing countries: For example, the figure is 61% in China, 70% in India, and 81% in Brazil.

As the stewardship advocate Simon Wong points out, under the current system pension funds deem an asset manager who returns 10% to have underperformed if the relevant benchmark index rises by 12%. Would it be unthinkable for institutional investors instead to live with absolute gains on the (perfectly healthy) order of 10%—especially if they like the approach that delivered those gains—and review performance every three or five years, instead of dropping the 10-percenter? Might these big funds set targets for the number of holdings and rates of turnover, at least within the “fundamental investing” portion of their portfolios, and more aggressively monitor those targets? More radically, might they end the practice of holding thousands of stocks and achieve the benefits of diversification with fewer than a hundred—thereby increasing their capacity to effectively engage with the businesses they own and improve long-term performance? Finally, could institutional investors beef up their internal skills and staff to better execute such an agenda? These are the kinds of questions we need to address if we want to align capital’s interests more closely with capitalism’s.

2. Serve Stakeholders, Enrich Shareholders

The second imperative for renewing capitalism is disseminating the idea that serving stakeholders is essential to maximizing corporate value. Too often these aims are presented as being in tension: You’re either a champion of shareholder value or you’re a fan of the stakeholders. This is a false choice.

The inspiration for shareholder-value maximization, an idea that took hold in the 1970s and 1980s, was reasonable: Without some overarching financial goal with which to guide and gauge a firm’s performance, critics feared, managers could divert corporate resources to serve their own interests rather than the owners’. In fact, in the absence of concrete targets, management might become an exercise in politics and stakeholder engagement an excuse for inefficiency. Although this thinking was quickly caricatured in popular culture as the doctrine of “greed is good,” and was further tarnished by some companies’ destructive practices in its name, in truth there was never any inherent tension between creating value and serving the interests of employees, suppliers, customers, creditors, communities, and the environment. Indeed, thoughtful advocates of value maximization have always insisted that it is long-term value that has to be maximized.

Capitalism’s founding philosopher voiced an even bolder aspiration. “All the members of human society stand in need of each others assistance, and are likewise exposed to mutual injuries,” Adam Smith wrote in his 1759 work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. “The wise and virtuous man,” he added, “is at all times willing that his own private interest should be sacrificed to the public interest,” should circumstances so demand.

Smith’s insight into the profound interdependence between business and society, and how that interdependence relates to long-term value creation, still reverberates. In 2008 and again in 2010, McKinsey surveyed nearly 2,000 executives and investors; more than 75% said that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives create corporate value in the long term. Companies that bring a real stakeholder perspective into corporate strategy can generate tangible value even sooner. (See the sidebar “Who’s Getting It Right?”)

Creating direct business value, however, is not the only or even the strongest argument for taking a societal perspective. Capitalism depends on public trust for its legitimacy and its very survival. According to the Edelman public relations agency’s just-released 2011 Trust Barometer, trust in business in the U.S. and the UK (although up from mid-crisis record lows) is only in the vicinity of 45%. This stands in stark contrast to developing countries: For example, the figure is 61% in China, 70% in India, and 81% in Brazil. The picture is equally bleak for individual corporations in the Anglo-American world, “which saw their trust rankings drop again last year to near-crisis lows,” says Richard Edelman.

How can business leaders restore the public’s trust? Many Western executives find that nothing in their careers has prepared them for this new challenge. Lee Scott, Walmart’s former CEO, has been refreshingly candid about arriving in the top job with a serious blind spot. He was plenty busy minding the store, he says, and had little feel for the need to engage as a statesman with groups that expected something more from the world’s largest company. Fortunately, Scott was a fast learner, and Walmart has become a leader in environmental and health care issues.

Tomorrow’s CEOs will have to be, in Joseph Nye’s apt phrase, “tri-sector athletes”: able and experienced in business, government, and the social sector. But the pervading mind-set gets in the way of building those leadership and management muscles. “Analysts and investors are focused on the short term,” one executive told me recently. “They believe social initiatives don’t create value in the near term.” In other words, although a large majority of executives believe that social initiatives create value in the long term, they don’t act on this belief, out of fear that financial markets might frown. Getting capital more aligned with capitalism should help businesses enrich shareholders by better serving stakeholders.

3. Act Like You Own the Place

As the financial sector’s troubles vividly exposed, when ownership is broadly fragmented, no one acts like he’s in charge. Boards, as they currently operate, don’t begin to serve as a sufficient proxy. All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, describes how little awareness Merrill Lynch’s board had of the firm’s soaring exposure to subprime mortgage instruments until it was too late. “I actually don’t think risk management failed,” Larry Fink, the CEO of the investment firm BlackRock, said during a 2009 debate about the future of capitalism, sponsored by the Financial Times. “I think corporate governance failed, because…the boards didn’t ask the right questions.”

What McKinsey has learned from studying successful family-owned companies suggests a way forward: The most effective ownership structure tends to combine some exposure in the public markets (for the discipline and capital access that exposure helps provide) with a significant, committed, long-term owner. Most large public companies, however, have extremely dispersed ownership, and boards rarely perform the single-owner-proxy role. As a result, CEOs too often listen to the investors (and members of the media) who make the most noise. Unfortunately, those parties tend to be the most nearsighted ones. And so the tyranny of the short term is reinforced.

The answer is to renew corporate governance by rooting it in committed owners and by giving those owners effective mechanisms with which to influence management. We call this ownership-based governance, and it requires three things:

Just 43% of the nonexecutive directors of public companies believe they significantly influence strategy. For this to change, board members must devote much more time to their roles.

More-effective boards.

In the absence of a dominant shareholder (and many times when there is one), the board must represent a firm’s owners and serve as the agent of long-term value creation. Even among family firms, the executives of the top-performing companies wield their influence through the board. But only 43% of the nonexecutive directors of public companies believe they significantly influence strategy. For this to change, board members must devote much more time to their roles. A government-commissioned review of the governance of British banks last year recommended an enormous increase in the time required of nonexecutive directors of banks—from the current average, between 12 and 20 days annually, to between 30 and 36 days annually. What’s especially needed is an increase in the informal time board members spend with investors and executives. The nonexecutive board directors of companies owned by private equity firms spend 54 days a year, on average, attending to the company’s business, and 70% of that time consists of informal meetings and conversations. Four to five days a month obviously give a board member much greater understanding and impact than the three days a quarter (of which two may be spent in transit) devoted by the typical board member of a public company.

Boards also need much more relevant experience. Industry knowledge—which four of five nonexecutive directors of big companies lack—helps boards identify immediate opportunities and reduce risk. Contextual knowledge about the development path of an industry—for example, whether the industry is facing consolidation, disruption from new technologies, or increased regulation—is highly valuable, too. Such insight is often obtained from experience with other industries that have undergone a similar evolution.

In addition, boards need more-effective committee structures—obtainable through, for example, the establishment of a strategy committee or of dedicated committees for large business units. Directors also need the resources to allow them to form independent views on strategy, risk, and performance (perhaps by having a small analytical staff that reports only to them). This agenda implies a certain professionalization of nonexecutive directorships and a more meaningful strategic partnership between boards and top management. It may not please some executive teams accustomed to boards they can easily “manage.” But given the failures of governance to date, it is a necessary change.

More-sensible CEO pay.

An important task of governance is setting executive compensation. Although 70% of board directors say that pay should be tied more closely to performance, CEO pay is too often structured to reward a leader simply for having made it to the top, not for what he or she does once there. Meanwhile, polls show that the disconnect between pay and performance is contributing to the decline in public esteem for business.

Companies should create real risk for executives.Some experts privately suggest mandating that new executives invest a year’s salary in the company.

CEOs and other executives should be paid to act like owners. Once upon a time we thought that stock options would achieve this result, but stock-option- based compensation schemes have largely incentivized the wrong behavior. When short-dated, options lead to a focus on meeting quarterly earnings estimates; even when long-dated (those that vest after three years or more), they can reward managers for simply surfing industry- or economy-wide trends (although reviewing performance against an appropriate peer index can help minimize free rides). Moreover, few compensation schemes carry consequences for failure—something that became clear during the financial crisis, when many of the leaders of failed institutions retired as wealthy people.

There will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to this complex issue, but companies should push for change in three key areas:

• They should link compensation to the fundamental drivers of long-term value, such as innovation and efficiency, not just to share price.

• They should extend the time frame for executive evaluations—for example, using rolling three-year performance evaluations, or requiring five-year plans and tracking performance relative to plan. This would, of course, require an effective board that is engaged in strategy formation.

• They should create real downside risk for executives, perhaps by requiring them to put some skin in the game. Some experts we’ve surveyed have privately suggested mandating that new executives invest a year’s salary in the company.

Redefined shareholder “democracy.”

The huge increase in equity churn in recent decades has spawned an anomaly of governance: At any annual meeting, a large number of those voting may soon no longer be shareholders. The advent of high-frequency trading will only worsen this trend. High churn rates, short holding periods, and vote-buying practices may mean the demise of the “one share, one vote” principle of governance, at least in some circumstances. Indeed, many large, top-performing companies, such as Google, have never adhered to it. Maybe it’s time for new rules that would give greater weight to long-term owners, like the rule in some French companies that gives two votes to shares held longer than a year. Or maybe it would make sense to assign voting rights based on the average turnover of an investor’s portfolio. If we want capitalism to focus on the long term, updating our notions of shareholder democracy in such ways will soon seem less like heresy and more like common sense.

While I remain convinced that capitalism is the economic system best suited to advancing the human condition, I’m equally persuaded that it must be renewed, both to deal with the stresses and volatility ahead and to restore business’s standing as a force for good, worthy of the public’s trust. The deficiencies of the quarterly capitalism of the past few decades were not deficiencies in capitalism itself—just in that particular variant. By rebuilding capitalism for the long term, we can make it stronger, more resilient, more equitable, and better able to deliver the sustainable growth the world needs. The three imperatives outlined above can be a start along this path and, I hope, a way to launch the conversation; others will have their own ideas to add.

The kind of deep-seated, systemic changes I’m calling for can be achieved only if boards, business executives, and investors around the world take responsibility for bettering the system they lead. Such changes will not be easy; they are bound to encounter resistance, and business leaders today have more than enough to do just to keep their companies running well. We must make the effort regardless. If capitalism emerges from the crisis vibrant and renewed, future generations will thank us. But if we merely paper over the cracks and return to our precrisis views, we will not want to read what the historians of the future will write. The time to reflect—and to act—is now.

 

Please see my other related posts.

Business Investments and Low Interest Rates

Mergers and Acquisitions – Long Term Trends and Waves

 

 

Key sources of Research:

Secular stagnation and low investment: Breaking the vicious cycle—a discussion paper

McKinsey

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/europe/secular-stagnation-and-low-investment-breaking-the-vicious-cycle

Case Still Out on Whether Corporate Short-Termism Is a Problem

Larry Summers

http://larrysummers.com/2017/02/09/case-still-out-on-whether-corporate-short-termism-is-a-problem/

Where companies with a long-term view outperform their peers

McKinsey

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/long-term-capitalism/where-companies-with-a-long-term-view-outperform-their-peers

How short-term thinking hampers long-term economic growth

FT

https://www.ft.com/content/8c868a98-b821-11e4-b6a5-00144feab7de

Anthony Hilton: Short-term thinking hits nations as a whole, not just big business

http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/anthony-hilton-short-term-thinking-hits-nations-as-a-whole-not-just-big-business-10427294.html

Short-termism in business: causes, mechanisms and consequences

EY Poland Report

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY_Poland_Report/$FILE/Short-termism_raport_EY.pdf

Overcoming the Barriers to Long-term Thinking in Financial Markets

Ruth Curran and Alice Chapple
Forum for the Future

https://www.forumforthefuture.org/sites/default/files/project/downloads/long-term-thinking-fpf-report-july-11.pdf

Understanding Short-Termism: Questions and Consequences

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Understanding-Short-Termism.pdf

Ending Short-Termism : An Investment Agenda for Growth

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Ending-Short-Termism.pdf

The Short Long

Speech by
Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, and Richard Davies

Brussels May 2011

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/speeches/2011/speech495.pdf

Capitalism for the Long Term

Dominic Barton

From the March 2011 Issue

https://hbr.org/2011/03/capitalism-for-the-long-term

Quarterly capitalism: The pervasive effects of short-termism and austerity

https://currentlyunderdevelopment.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/quarterly-capitalism-the-pervasive-effects-of-short-termism-and-austerity/

Is Short-Term Behavior Jeopardizing the Future Prosperity of Business?

http://www.wlrk.com/docs/IsShortTermBehaviorJeopardizingTheFutureProsperityOfBusiness_CEOStrategicimplications.pdf

Andrew G Haldane: The short long

Speech by Mr Andrew Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, and Mr Richard
Davies, Economist, Financial Institutions Division, Bank of England,
at the 29th Société
Universitaire Européene de Recherches Financières Colloquium,
Brussels, 11 May 2011

http://www.bis.org/review/r110511e.pdf

THE UNEASY CASE FOR FAVORING LONG-TERM SHAREHOLDERS

Jesse M. Fried

https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/17985223/Fried_795.pdf?sequence=1

The fringe economic theory that might get traction in the 2016 campaign

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/02/the-fringe-economic-theory-that-might-get-traction-in-the-2016-campaign/?utm_term=.932bc0b97758

FCLT Global:  Focusing Capital on the Long Term

Publications

http://www.fcltglobal.org/insights/publications

Finally, Evidence That Managing for the Long Term Pays Off

Dominic Barton

James Manyika

Sarah Keohane Williamson

February 07, 2017 UPDATED February 09, 2017

https://hbr.org/2017/02/finally-proof-that-managing-for-the-long-term-pays-off

Focusing Capital on the Long Term

Dominic Barton

Mark Wiseman

From the January–February 2014 Issue

Is Corporate Short-Termism Really a Problem? The Jury’s Still Out

Lawrence H. Summers

February 16, 2017

Yes, Short-Termism Really Is a Problem

Roger L. Martin

October 09, 2015

Long-Termism or Lemons

The Role of Public Policy in Promoting Long-Term Investments

By Marc Jarsulic, Brendan V. Duke, and Michael Madowitz October 2015

Center for American Progress

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/21060054/LongTermism-reportB.pdf

 

Overcoming Short-termism: A Call for A More Responsible Approach to Investment and Business Management

https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2009/09/11/overcoming-short-termism-a-call-for-a-more-responsible-approach-to-investment-and-business-management/

 

 

Focusing capital on the Long Term

Jean-Hugues Monier – Senior Parter – McKinsey & Company

Princeton University – November 2016

http://jrc.princeton.edu/sites/jrc/files/jean-hugues_j._monier_slides_final.pdf

Bank of Finland’s Payment And Settlement System Simulator (BoF-PSS2)

Bank of Finland’s Payment And Settlement System Simulator (BoF-PSS2)

 

From Payment and Settlement System Simulator

BOF-PSS2

The Bank of Finland provides a simulator called BoF-PSS2 for replicating payment and securities settlement systems. The simulator is adaptable for modelling multisystem setups that can be a combination of payment, securities settlement systems and CCP’s. The simulator is known to be unique and the first of its kind. Since its launch in 2002 it has been distributed to more than 90 countries and has contributed to numerous studies and research papers.

The simulator can be used to fulfill some of the regulatory requirements stated in the PFMI’s and BCBS requirements such as identifying the liquidity risks inpayment systems. Here under are topics the simulator can be used for:

  • Settlement, liquidity and credit risks in FMI’s
  • Systemic Risks and Counterparty risks in FMI’s
  • Identification of critical counterparts
  • Policy change impact evaluation
  • Network analysis
  • Liquidity dependency analysis
  • Relationship analysis of Monetary policy and liquidity needs for settlement of payments
  • Evaluation of sufficiency of liquidity buffers and margins
  • System merger effects on liquidity needs
  • System performance benchmarking
  • Netting algorithm testing and development
  • System development and prototyping

In comparison to static calculations of indicators, the simulation results naturally incorporate network (or systemic) effects rising from the payments flows and the technical properties of the infrastructures themselves. The results obtained from simulations are directly interpretable and have a self-evident meaning which is not always the case with all indicators. The results can directly be used for risk management purposes for example when evaluating the sufficiency of liquidity buffers and margins. Computer simulations take advantage of using the available information in full without losing micro-level information due to indicator aggregations.

The simulator is freely available for research purposes, and has already been introduced in numerous countries. It is possible to tailor and adapt the simulator to specific payment systems. Several adaptations of the simulator have already been made, eg. for TARGET2. The simulator team provides trainings, consultation and tailored adaptations which are priced for cost recovery. The training course aims at providing necessary skills for efficient use of BoF-PSS2 with hands on computer class exercises. It also presents numerous examples from real studies where the tool has been used. For more details see the training course outline. Minimum attendance to the session is four participants.

Basically, trainings are organised upon demand and it is also possible to order a training course to be held onsite outside the proposed dates.

 

From Payment and Settlement System Simulator / Product Page

product_en_144ppi

From Payment and Settlement System Simulator / Documentation page

The Bank of Finland Payment and Settlement System Simulator, version 2 (BoF-PSS2), is a powerful tool for payment and securities settlement system simulations. The simulator supports multiple system structures and various settlement models.

The simulator is designed for analysing liquidity needs and risks in payment and settlement systems. Special situations, often difficult or impossible to test in a real environment, can be readily simulated with BoF-PSS2. Thus, users can study how behavioral patterns and changes in policy and conventions impact the payment and settlement systems and participants. The efficiency of gridlock-resolution and liquidity-saving measures can be analyzed as well.

The application is divided into three sub-systems:

  • Input sub-system for preparing and defining the input data,
  • Execution sub-system for running simulations,
  • Output sub-system for basic analyses of simulation results.

Different settlement logics are implemented into separate algorithms. To replicate specific systems, appropriate algorithms must be selected with appropriate parameters. Different algorithm combinations can be used to replicate a large number of current and potential settlement conventions and structures. Real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS), continuous net settlement systems (CNS), deferred net settlement systems (DNS) and hybrid systems can be implemented with the simulator as well as securities settlement and multicurrency systems. Inter-system connections and bridges make it possible to define multi- system environments consisting of various types of interdependent systems. E.g. it is possible to replicate the interaction of RTGS and securities settlement systems.

Advanced users of BoF-PSS2 can define and build their own user modules/algorithms and expand the basic features of the simulator to analyse new types of settlement processes. It is also possible to implement agent based modeling by adding algorithms replicating the participants’ behavior and decision making to control and alter the flow of submitted transactions. As a later addition, the simulator also has a network analysis module for generating networks and network indicators from either input data or results of simulations.

BoF-PSS2 has an easy to use graphical user interface. It is also possible to automate the use of the simulator via its command line interface (CLI).

 

From Payment and Settlement System Simulator / Product Page

TARGET2 SIMULATOR

A separate TARGET2 simulator version of BoF-PSS2 has been developed and delivered for the European System of Central Banks. It is based on the same basic software architechture and features of BoF-PSS2. Additional features are implemented as separate algorithm modules which replicate the proprietary algorithms of actual TARGET2 system. It is used by Eurosystem for quantitative analyses and numerical simulations of TARGET2.

TARGET2 simulator has been jointly delivered by Suomen Pankki (Bank of Finland) and the 3CB (Banca d’Italia, Deutsche Bundesbank, Banque de France) based on a decision of ECB Governing Council.

 

 

Key Terms

  • Liquidity Simulator
  • Payment System
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Stability
  • Cascades of Failures
  • Congestions and Delays
  • Financial Market Infrastructures
  • Payment Networks
  • Contagion
  • RTGS
  • Simulation Analysis
  • TARGET2
  • Intraday Payments

 

Key People

  • Harry Leinonen
  • Tatu Laine
  • Matti Hellqvist
  • Kimmo Soramäki

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

Payment and Settlement System Simulator – A tool for analysis of liquidity, risk and efficiency

Bank of Finland Payment and Settlement Simulator

2006

 

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/globalassets/en/financial-stability/payment-and-settelement-system-simulator/events/2006_11a_hl.pdf

 

 

BoF-PSS2 Technical structure and simulation features

Harry Leinonen

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/globalassets/en/financial-stability/payment-and-settelement-system-simulator/events/20031519seminarpresentationleinonen2.pdf

 

 

Payment and Settlement System Simulator

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/financial-stability/bof-pss2-simulator/

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/financial-stability/bof-pss2-simulator/product/

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/financial-stability/bof-pss2-simulator/events/

 

 

Publications

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/financial-stability/bof-pss2-simulator/publications/

 

 

Quantitative analysis of financial market infrastructures: further perspectives on financial stability

E50

https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/handle/123456789/13990

 

 

Diagnostics for the financial markets : computational studies of payment system : Simulator Seminar Proceedings 2009-2011

E45

https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/handle/123456789/9381

 

 

Simulation analyses and stress testing of payment networks

E42

https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/handle/123456789/9369

 

 

Simulation studies of liquidity needs, risks and efficiency in payment networks : Proceedings from the Bank of Finland Payment and Settlement System Seminars 2005-2006

E39

https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/handle/123456789/9370

 

 

Liquidity, risks and speed in payment and settlement systems : a simulation approach

E31

https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/handle/123456789/9355

 

 

Simulation Analysis and Tools for the Oversight of Payment Systems

 

http://www.cemla.org/actividades/2012/2012-12-payments/2012-12-vigilanciasistemasdepago-10.pdf

 

 

Utilizing the BoF simulator in quantitative FMI analysis

Tatu Laine

Banco de México

15.10.2014

 

http://www.banxico.org.mx/publicaciones-y-discursos/publicaciones/seminarios/banco-de-mexico_-the-evolving-landscape-of-payment/%7B15D9D1D3-D455-1E98-6FA6-AFB3B30C4ACB%7D.pdf

 

 

TARGET2 Simulator

https://www.banque-france.fr/sites/default/files/media/2016/11/07/target_newsletter_7_2013.pdf

 

 

Intraday patterns and timing of TARGET2 interbank payments

Marco Massarenti

Silvio Petriconi

Johannes Lindner

 

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7177/0b5a0eb557b478843891449221c6ed2e7502.pdf

 

 

Communities and driver nodes in the TARGET2 payment system

Marco Galbiatiy, Lucian Stanciu-Vizeteuz

June 17, 2015

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marco_Galbiati/publication/279511583_Communities_and_driver_nodes_in_the_TARGET2_payment_system/links/5593d39c08ae1e9cb42a1904.pdf

 

 

Payment Delays and Contagion

Ben Craig† Dilyara Salakhova‡ Martin Saldias§

November 14, 2014

http://www.systemic-risk-hub.org/papers/bibliography/CraigSalakhovaSaldias_2014_preview.pdf

 

 

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review

September 2008 Volume 14 Number 2

Special Issue: The Economics of Payments

 

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/epr/2008/EPRvol14n2.pdf

 

 

Contagion in Payment and Settlement Systems

 

Matti Hellqvist

2006

 

https://www.imf.org/external/np/seminars/eng/2006/stress/pdf/mh.pdf

 

 

Applications of BoF-PSS2 simulator and how to use it in agent based models

 

http://terna.to.it/ABM-BaF09/presentations/Hellqvist(presentation)_ABM-BaF09.pdf

 

 

Simulation and Analysis of Cascading Failure in Critical Infrastructure

Robert Glass, Walt Beyeler, Kimmo Soramäki, MortenBech and Jeffrey Arnold

Sandia National Laboratories, European Central Bank,  Federal Reserve Bank of New York

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/globalassets/en/financial-stability/payment-and-settelement-system-simulator/events/07-glass_pres.pdf

 

 

Simulation analysis of payment systems

 

Kimmo Soramäki

2011

http://www.cemla.org/actividades/2011/2011-11-vigilancia/2011-11-vigilancia-07.pdf

 

 

Simulating interbank payment and securities settlement mechanisms with the BoF-PSS2 simulator

Harry Leinonen

Kimmo Soramäki

 

2003

 

https://www.suomenpankki.fi/globalassets/en/rahoitusjarjestelman_vakaus/bof-pss2/documentation/bof_dp_2303.pdf

 

Currency Credit Networks of International Banks

Currency Credit Networks of International Banks

During the Global Financial Crisis, institutions which were monitoring and regulating Banking systems realized that there are gaps in data to get a better understanding of cross border lending by Banks.

Bank of International Settlement BIS collects and publishes following datasets:

  • Consolidated Banking Statistics (CBS)
  • Locational Banking Statistics (LBS)

 

From US Banks’ International Balance Sheet Linkages: A Data Survey

International financial linkages are mostly established through banks’ lending and borrowing across the borders. Still, very little is known on the actual geographical composition of banks’ foreign balance sheet positions due to the fact that existing bilateral banking statistics is rather incomplete and scant both at the aggregate and micro level ( (Cerutti, et al., 2011); (Fender & Patrick, 2009); (McGuire & von Peter, 2009)). At the micro level, in particular, bilateral positions of banks by location of counterparty are neither collected by the regulator nor available from commercial databases (Herrero & Martinez Peira, 2007).

At the macro level, the Consolidated Banking Statistics (CBS) published by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is the most complete data source publicly available on aggregate bilateral claims of banks, available on a comparable cross-country basis and collected according to the nationality principle1. The CBS is best suited to assess country risk, as it reports gross claims of home and worldwide offices reported by national banks to individual foreign countries.

The consolidation within the CBS, however, does not allow to quantify gross cross-border bilateral positions that banks have vis-à-vis their foreign affiliates. Important direct linkages can, indeed, arise through cross-border positions with banks’ foreign-related entities, such as branches or subsidiaries, especially in those countries, such as the US, where foreign-related offices are the largest foreign counterparties of domestic banks.

Moreover, bilateral banking liabilities are not publicly available within the CBS preventing the assessment of other important macro risks arising from international banking activity, most notably funding and global systemic risks. The Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS) at the the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has recently announced that the latter limitation is being tackled in the new reporting regime in which banks must disclose also bilateral liabilities a consolidated basis with details of the instrument type (CGFS, 2012). The BIS also collects unconsolidated positions (i.e. both assets and liabilities) of banks located in a given country on all foreigners in the Locational Banking Statistics (LBS), in which bilateral positions are not publicly disclosed2. For the US, however, bilateral foreign unconsolidated banking assets and liabilities are available from the Treasury International Capital System (TICS)3. Coherent to the balance of payment residency principle, the reporting institutions are branches of foreign banks residing in the US which report their positions vis-à-vis all foreigners by foreign country, including related-offices.

Residency-based statistics is ill-suited to assess bi-lateral linkages of US banks as confounding resident foreign and domestic banks does not allow to disentangle the different lending conducts and funding structures4. Also, the foreign counterparty includes foreign branches and subsidiaries of domestic banks as well as parents, branches and subsidiaries of foreign banks resident in the US, hindering a full understanding of the geography of banks’ funding, liquidity and capital allocation.

The aim of this paper is to review all the available data at the macro level in order to both draw a map of the bilateral international balance sheet positions of US banks by counterparty country and stress the data limitations and gaps. Firstly, this paper presents an extensive survey of all available bilateral macro data on international linkages created by US banks’ balance sheets. This investigation details the components and measurements (consolidated vs. unconsolidated data collection) of external positions of US banks. The survey is mainly based on the statistics provided by the Country Exposure Lending Survey (CELS) published by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), upon which the BIS CBS for the US is based, and the US Banking claims and liabilities statistics published by the Treasury International Capital System (TICS). The second part of the paper discusses how data gaps might distort the measurement of important bilateral linkages and suggests how these limitations might be tackled by future research.

In the literature can be found a few papers that bring together existing available datasets to evaluate bi-lateral financial linkages, such as the works by (Lane & Milesi-Ferretti, 2011), (Milesi- Ferretti, et al., 2010) and (Cerutti, 2013). The latter study, in particular, estimates the linkages created by banks’ balance sheet by combining BIS CBS with foreign office data available commercially at the micro-level with the intent of measuring foreign rollover risks.

In this paper it is stressed that consolidated and unconsolidated banking statistics should both include a vis-à-vis country dimension, other than a sectoral and instrument-type segmentation. Moreover, statistics should be segmented enough to allow mapping unconsolidated to consolidated data. In particular, consolidated banking statistics should differentiate claims booked from domestic offices to those from branches and subsidiaries, possibly by host country. Unconsolidated statistics, should disentangle positions booked from domestic banks and foreign banks and vis-à-vis related- offices, possibly identifying the nationality foreign banks. While the statistics enhancements of the CGFS are definitely going towards this direction, this paper suggests that more detailed information should be collected on the funding structure of foreign-related offices, disentangling, when possible, branches by subsidiaries by host country.

 

An overview of bi-lateral foreign exposure of US banks

The linkages created by banks via their international balance sheet positions can be assessed on either a consolidated or unconsolidated basis.

The BIS provides the framework to collect international banking claims on a consolidated basis. The Consolidated Banking Statistics (CBS) provides very useful scope for assessing country risk as its concern is to measure the exposure of the banking sector of a given country i on a foreign country j on a nationality basis: banks are grouped according to their nationality so that all branches of banks with nationality i located worldwide report their positions vis-à-vis the residents of a given country j. Total foreign exposure, namely foreign claims, of the banking sector in i on country j is obtained by summing the consolidated cross-border claims on unaffiliated foreigners in j and local claims of foreign offices established in j. The BIS publishes bilateral foreign claims for the reporting county vis-à-vis the rest of the world by country of location of the counterparty on a quarterly basis. For the US case, more detailed data is available from the Country Exposure Lending Survey (CELS) published by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), upon which the BIS CBS for the US is based.

Banks’ foreign exposure evaluated on an unconsolidated (or locational) basis, on the other hand, complies with the balance of payments principles. Banks are grouped according to their residency so that in a given country i the reporting banks are all those institutions operating in i, including the resident branches of foreign banks. Total foreign exposure is here calculated by measuring unconsolidated cross-border claims only, i.e. claims on all those counterparties which are not domestically located, including related offices. The BIS collects quarterly statistics on unconsolidated banking assets and liabilities, that is, the Locational Banking Statistics (LBS), for a large set of reporting countries, reporting positions broken down by currency, counterparty sector and nationality of banks. Although the BIS collects unconsolidated banking statistics by country of location of the counterparty (i.e. vis-à-vis country dimension), this information is not publicly disclosed hindering a geographical mapping of the counterparties of reporting banks. For the case of US, however, this bilateral assets and liabilities of banks on an unconsolidated basis are published by the US Treasury within the Treasury International Capital System (TICS), upon which the BIS LBS for the US is based.

 

Data Gaps identified during the GFC have been corrected to some extent.  New improved data sets became available in 2015.  Based on this new data, several new papers have been published by BIS.

 

From Enhanced data to analyse international banking

Banks have become larger and more complex over the past 25 years, offering multiple services and products through operations spanning the globe. Some rely heavily on wholesale or non-deposit sources of funding, often from non-bank financial intermediaries about whom information is sparse. Such changes in the international financial system were not well captured in historical data (BIS (2011)). This made it hard to analyse where, in which instruments and on which side of banks’ balance sheets vulnerabilities might emerge, and harder still to assess how vulnerabilities in one part of the financial system might affect other parts. In 2012, the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS), which oversees the collection of the BIS international banking statistics (IBS), approved a major set of enhancements to the IBS aimed at filling long-standing data gaps and better capturing the new financial landscape (CGFS (2012)). To a large extent, the enhancements were informed by the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–09, which revealed critical gaps in the information available to monitor and respond to financial stability risks.2 The basic thrust of the enhancements is twofold. First, they expand the coverage of banks’ balance sheets to include their domestic positions, not just their international activities. Second, they provide more information about the sector of banks’ counterparties, in particular banks’ exposures to and reliance on funding from non-bank financial counterparties. The remainder of this feature explains the enhancements in more detail and discusses a few analytical uses of the new data.

 

Overview of the enhancements

The IBS comprise two data sets – the locational banking statistics (LBS) and the consolidated banking statistics (CBS) – each collected using a different methodology. Jointly, they are a key source of information for assessing risks to financial stability, understanding banks’ role in the transmission of shocks across borders, and monitoring changes in internationally active banks’ business models. The principal use of the LBS is to analyse capital flows between countries. They capture the positions of banking offices located in 44 reporting countries on counterparties resident in each of over 200 countries. The LBS are collected following the same principles as national accounts and balance of payments, meaning that their compilation is based on the residence of entities and the data are not adjusted for intragroup or intrasector links. The CBS provide measures of internationally active banks’ country risk exposures. In contrast to the LBS, the CBS are compiled on a nationality basis, using the consolidated approach followed by banking supervisors. The business of offices that are part of the same banking group is consolidated and reported by the country where the controlling parent entity is located.3 Table 1 summarises the breakdowns reported in each data set, and a companion piece in this Review describes the LBS and CBS in more detail. The enhancements approved by the CGFS focused on five areas. First, in both the LBS and the CBS, the coverage of banks’ balance sheets was extended to domestic positions; previously, the data sets captured only banks’ international business. In the LBS, banks are now asked to report their local positions – positions against residents of the country where they are located – in local currency, to complement the existing data on local positions in foreign currencies.4 In the CBS, since end-2013, internationally active banks have reported their worldwide consolidated claims on residents of their home country – the country where the bank’s controlling parent is headquartered. Second, in the CBS, data for the funding side of banks’ consolidated balance sheets were introduced. Previously, very little liability-related information was collected in the CBS: only the local liabilities of banks’ foreign affiliates, and only those denominated in local currency. Since end-2013, banks have reported their total liabilities on a consolidated basis, with a breakdown by instrument.5 They also report their total equity, selected capital measures, and total assets (comprising financial and non-financial assets).

Third, in both the LBS and the CBS, the sectoral breakdown of counterparties was improved. The main improvement was to distinguish between non-bank financial counterparties and non-financial counterparties; previously, the two sectors were grouped together as non-bank entities.6 Banks are also asked to distinguish between different non-financial counterparties: non-financial corporations, households and governments. However, the reporting of the latter breakdown is encouraged, not required, and thus is incomplete (as discussed below). In the LBS, the breakdown of counterparties classified as banks was also improved. Since end- 2013, banks have reported different types of bank counterparties – related banking offices (or intragroup affiliates), unrelated banks and central banks – by residence of the counterparty.7 Fourth, the LBS were refined to provide more granular information by nationality of the reporting bank. In particular, since end-June 2012, four dimensions of data have been jointly reported: the residence and nationality of the reporting bank, the residence of the counterparty, and the currency in which positions are denominated. Previously, no more than three of the four dimensions were jointly reported in either the CBS or LBS (Table 2). Box 1 explains how these new data help clarify the geography of banks’ operations. The more granular information by nationality of the reporting bank is often composed of data reported by very few banks. For example, there are many banks in the United Kingdom that have claims on South Africa, and there are several Australian banks that have offices in the United Kingdom, but there may be only one or two Australian banks in the United Kingdom that have claims on South Africa. If an aggregate comprises data from only one or two banks, then its disclosure risks revealing proprietary information about those banks’ activities. Consequently, reporting authorities classify a significant part of the enhanced data that they report to the BIS as confidential. Such data cannot be disclosed by the BIS, but they can serve as building blocks in the construction of published aggregates that combine data from many reporting countries. While the enhancements made the residence and nationality of reporting banks and the residence of counterparties available simultaneously in the LBS, they did not make the distinction between data by residence and nationality redundant. In particular, the instrument breakdown – loans and deposits, debt securities and other instruments – continues to be reported only for LBS by residence (Table 2). The enhancements also refined the IBS in a number of smaller ways. Banks reporting the LBS are now encouraged to provide an expanded currency breakdown. To complement the LBS by nationality of reporting bank, data by type of bank – branch or subsidiary – are also reported, although without a detailed counterparty country breakdown of cross-border positions. In addition, the quality of the data was improved through closer alignment of reporting practices with the guidelines. For example, authorities in some reporting countries refined sectoral or other classifications. Such methodological changes have sometimes led to significant changes in reported outstanding positions. Finally, the BIS comprehensively revised the tables presenting the IBS so as to include data collected as part of the enhancements (Box 2). The enhancements also prompted the BIS to revisit the way in which some aggregates are calculated or presented, resulting in changes to previously published data (Box 3).

 

From Enhanced data to analyse international banking

06-tab1

 

From Enhanced data to analyse international banking

06-tab2

 

From Enhanced data to analyse international banking

06-graa

 

From Recent enhancements to the BIS statistics

Locational banking statistics by reporting country

One of the enhancements to the international banking statistics (IBS) agreed by the Committee on the Global Financial System following the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–09 was to make the IBS more widely available (CGFS (2012)). The new tables and data published by the BIS in September 2015 were an important step in that direction (Avdjiev et al (2015)). The BIS and central banks continue to work towards publishing more data and improving the tools for accessing them.

Concurrently with this Quarterly Review, the BIS has started publishing more details at the reporting country level from the locational banking statistics (LBS), in particular the claims and liabilities of banks in individual reporting countries on counterparties in more than 200 countries. Previously, the BIS had made public only two types of aggregates in the LBS: the positions of banks in all reporting countries on counterparties in individual countries (Table A6 in the BIS Statistical Bulletin and the BIS Statistics Explorer), and the positions of banks in individual reporting countries on all counterparties abroad (Table A5). The BIS now discloses a matrix of reporting countries and counterparty countries, for the full history of the LBS. For example, whereas previously only the cross-border claims of all LBS-reporting banks on borrowers in China were published, now the location of those reporting banks is also disclosed. This information shows that, at end-March 2016, banks in Hong Kong SAR were the main creditors, accounting for 42% of cross-border claims on China’s mainland borrowers, followed by banks in Chinese Taipei with 9%.

Such geographical details can be used to analyse how shocks might propagate across sectors and borders. For example, they can help track how funds are transferred from sources in one country via banks to users in another. They can also shed light on the complexity of banks’ international operations.

When undertaking such analysis, it is very important to distinguish between the unconsolidated office-level view in the LBS and the consolidated group-level view in the consolidated banking statistics (CBS). The LBS capture the positions of banking offices located in a given country, following the same residency principles as national accounts and balance of payments. By contrast, the CBS capture the worldwide positions of banking groups headquartered in that country, using the consolidated approach followed by banking supervisors. Accordingly, the principal use of the LBS is to analyse capital flows between countries, whereas the CBS provide measures of banks’ country risk exposures.3

The published matrix of reporting countries and counterparty countries covers the cross-border positions of banks located in up to 29 LBS-reporting countries on counterparties in more than 200 countries. As many as eight series are publicly available in the LBS for each reporting-counterparty country pair: total claims and liabilities on counterparties in all sectors and the non-bank sector, and the same details for the instrument component loans and deposits. Selected series are published in Table A6 of the BIS Statistical Bulletin, and all the data can be downloaded from the BIS Statistics Explorer, the BIS Statistics Warehouse or in a single CSV file. A matrix of reporting countries and counterparty countries is also published for the CBS, in Table B4 of the BIS Statistical Bulletin.

 

Table below shows stock positions in different currencies by location and by sector.

From Currency networks in cross-border bank lending

crossborder3

 

From Currency networks in cross-border bank lending

At end-2014, the outstanding stock of BIS IBS cross-border bank claims totalled $28.5 trillion. Using the new dimensions in the Stage 1 data, we can simultaneously identify the nationality of the lending bank and the location of the borrower for 92% ($26.2 trillion) of the global total. Nearly three quarters ($19.3 trillion) of the bilaterally-identified claims represented lending by banks from advanced economies (AEs) to borrowers in AEs (Table 2). The second largest component of global crossborder bank lending was the one from AE banks to offshore centres – it stood at $3.5 trillion (or 13% of the global aggregate). “AE-to-EME” lending (ie lending by AE banks to EME borrowers) was also substantial – it amounted to $2.3 trillion (or 9% of global cross-border lending). Meanwhile, cross-border lending by EME banks, which has been growing rapidly over the past few years, stood at $1.1 trillion or around 4% of global cross-border claims. It was fairly evenly distributed among borrowers from AEs ($395 billion), EMEs ($351 billion) and offshore centres ($205 billion).

Currency networks

More than three-quarters of global cross-border claims were accounted for by lending in two major currencies: the US dollar and the euro. Claims denominated in US dollars alone equalled $13.0 trillion, or 45% of the global total. Meanwhile, crossborder lending denominated in euros stood at $9.0 trillion, or 31% of the global aggregate. The third largest currency denomination, the Japanese yen accounts for only around 5% of the global total. At the aggregate level, the above currency shares are remarkably stable across counterparty sectors (Table 3). The US dollar shares of global cross-border lending to banks (46%) and non-banks (45%) are virtually the same. The same is true for the respective euro shares, with both at 31%. In the case of yen, the difference is more pronounced: cross-border lending to non-banks (6.4%) is almost twice as high as interbank lending (3.6%).

The variation in the currency composition of cross-border lending across locations is considerably larger (Table 3). In terms of lending to advanced economies, the US dollar and euro shares are roughly equal at 41% and 39%, respectively. Approximately half of US dollar-denominated bank lending to advanced economies is accounted for by cross-border claims on residents of the United States ($4.1 trillion). Similarly, the majority ($5.7 trillion) of euro-denominated cross-border bank lending is directed towards borrowers in the euro area – and most ($3.8 trillion) of that amount represents intra-euro area cross-border claims. Outside the United States and the euro area, the US dollar and the euro still dominate lending to advanced economies, albeit with somewhat smaller shares (36% and 25%, respectively).

Lending to EMEs tends to be primarily denominated in US dollars as well. The proportion of cross-border claims on EMEs denominated in US dollars (47%) is more than four times higher than that of the euro (11%). Nevertheless, the aggregate EME numbers mask considerable variations across regions. The US dollar accounts for the majority of the claims on Latin America and on Africa and the Middle East (73% and 61%, respectively). Yet, it accounts for less than half (41%) of the lending to emerging Asia and less than a third (30%) of the lending to emerging Europe. In fact, emerging Europe is the only EME region where the euro is the leading currency with around 41% of all claims. The share of yen is negligible at around 1% of lending to all four EME regions.

The dominance of the US dollar is most pronounced in cross-border claims on offshore centres with a share of nearly two thirds (63%) of the total. Conversely, the respective share for the Japanese yen is merely 11%. The share of the euro is even smaller at 8%.

 

From Drivers of cross-border banking since the Global Crisis

Since the Global Crisis, international credit markets have become more segmented. Figure 1 illustrates the development of cross-border bank claims over the last years; after a continuous and steep increase, the Crisis has led to a retrenchment in cross-border bank lending. Yet, international lending has evolved heterogeneously across regions. While cross-border lending to developing and emerging economies has increased again, foreign bank claims to developed countries have rather continued to decrease.

Even if part of the retrenchment in cross-border bank claims was cyclical, part of the adjustment seems to be structural as the economic recovery did not go along with a notable increase in total foreign bank claims.

What role do policy changes play for adjustments in cross-border bank claims?

The adjustments in international bank lending have led to a debate on how recent policy interventions have affected international capital flows in the aftermath of the crisis.

  • On the one hand, different observers stress the role of changes in financial regulation for the international activities of banks.

After the experiences of the recent Crisis, national regulators may aim at a lower degree of banking globalisation to facilitate the resolution of large, internationally active banks, and hence to better protect taxpayers from potential losses (The Economist 2012). Using bank-level data for the UK banking sector, Rose and Wieladek (2011) have analysed the implications of bank nationalisations for international lending. They present evidence that foreign banks that profited from government support have cut back their lending to the UK. Thus, part of the retrenchment in international bank lending may be due to increased financial protectionism since the crisis.

  • On the other hand, the effects of monetary policy on capital flows – especially to emerging markets – have been intensely debated.

Among others, Bernanke (2013) has pointed out that in an environment of low interest rates, banks may tend to lean their foreign activities towards higher-yielding markets. Nier and Saadi Sedik (2014) point out that managing the large and volatile capital inflows since the Crisis has been costly for emerging markets.

In a recent study (Bremus and Fratzscher 2014), we add to this debate by investigating the effects of policy-related drivers of changes in cross-border bank lending since the Global Crisis.

  • The first question we address is how shifts in banking regulations have affected international bank lending in the wake of the Crisis.

As illustrated by Figure 2, bank capital regulation has, on average, become stricter since the Crisis. In general, tighter regulatory requirements may have different implications for banks’ international lending business. An increase in capital requirements in the source country of cross-border credit may lead to a reduction in credit outflows if banks cut back risky foreign lending activities in order to deleverage. However, stricter regulations in the source country could also lead to an increase in foreign lending activities to countries where regulation is more lenient. Using data from the pre-crisis period, Houston et al. (2012) indeed find that differences in banking regulation are important push and pull factors of cross-border bank lending; banks are attracted by countries with a less restrictive regulatory environment.

In order to study policy-related drivers of changes in international lending between the pre- and the post-Crisis period, we use bilateral credit data for 46 countries from the Bank for International Settlements for the period 2005-2012.[1] Information on capital stringency, supervisory power, and supervisory independence is available from Barth et al. (2013). Following the literature, the years until 2007 can be classified as the ‘pre-crisis’ period, while the years as of 2010 are classified as the ‘post-crisis’ phase. We use a cross-sectional regression model where all variables are expressed as the change between the average across 2005-2007 and the average across 2010-2012.

  • Our results indicate that regulatory policy has been an important driver of adjustments in cross-border banking since the Global Crisis.

Source countries of bilateral credit which have seen a larger increase in supervisory power or independence have extended more cross-border credit. Put differently, the more independent or powerful supervisors got, the less severe was the reduction in cross-border credit in the aftermath of the Crisis. Another interpretation for this result is that stricter regulation in the source country has led to more cross-border lending due to regulatory arbitrage.

With respect to bank capital regulation, the estimation results are similar when the whole country sample is considered. Yet, the larger the differential in capital stringency between the source and the recipient country of cross-border credit in the Eurozone got, the lower the increase (or the larger the reduction) in cross-border lending between these countries.

  • In a second part, we examine which role expansionary monetary policy – as measured by reserve deposits of commercial banks held at central banks – has played for bilateral cross-border lending.

Aggregate reserves at central banks reflect the size of monetary policy interventions (Keister and McAndrews 2009). The more accommodative monetary policy has been since the Crisis, the larger was the increase in total reserves. The estimation results reveal that a larger expansion in source countries’ reserve deposits have come along with smaller reductions (or, larger increases) in credit outflows. Hence, the findings suggest that monetary policy has mitigated credit market fragmentation in the aftermath of the Global Crisis.

Concluding remarks

Our results show that regulatory and monetary policy changes have been important drivers of adjustments in cross-border bank lending since the crisis. While expansionary monetary policy measures have mitigated credit market fragmentation, regulatory policy changes have had mixed effects, depending on the measure and region considered.

More independent and powerful supervisory authorities tend to promote international lending. Our findings indicate that capital regulation should be adjusted in a harmonised and transparent way in order to avoid distortionary lending behaviour, especially in the Eurozone.

 

From The currency dimension of the bank lending channel in international monetary transmission

In this paper, we add to the existing literature on the cross-border bank lending channel of monetary policy by examining how the use of a currency in cross-border lending transmits monetary policy-induced monetary shocks across countries. We do so by using new and unique data on bilateral cross-border lending flows across a wide array of source banking systems and target countries, broken down by currency denomination (USD, EUR and JPY).

We obtain three main results.

First, monetary policy-induced monetary shocks in a currency significantly affect cross-border bank lending flows in that currency, even when neither the lending banking system nor the borrowing country uses that currency as their own. This is what we call the currency dimension of the bank lending channel.

Second, we find that this currency dimension of the bank lending channel works primarily through lending to non-banks.

Third, we find that these currency effects work similarly across the three main currencies, that is, the transmission effects are present in EUR and JPY-lending as much as in USD-lending. All these results are robust across our various specifications, including IV estimations.26

We hope that our results will help policymakers and researchers gain further insight into how the global use of currencies transmits monetary policy shocks through the international banking system. In particular, our results suggest that when policymakers in borrowing countries think about external spillovers to their economies they should explicitly consider the currency denomination of the cross-border claims.

 

 

 

KeySources of Research:

 

Estimating Global Bank Network Connectedness

Mert Demirer Laura Liu

.Francis X. Diebold Kamil Ylmaz

 

2017

 

http://www.ssc.upenn.edu/~fdiebold/papers2/DDLYpaper.pdf

 

 

A network analysis of global banking: 1978–2009

Camelia Minoiu and Javier A. Reyes

2011

 

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2011/wp1174.pdf

 

 

Global Banks and Transmission

2013

https://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/cfr/bank_research_conference/annual_13th/Goldberg.pdf

 

 

Crisis Transmission in the Global Banking Network

Galina Hale

Tu ̈mer Kapan

Camelia Minoiu

December 31, 2014

 

https://www.bis.org/events/confresearchnetwork1510/hale_paper.pdf

 

 

Currency networks in cross-border bank lending

Stefan Avdjiev and Előd Takáts

September 2015

https://www.bis.org/events/confresearchnetwork1510/takats_paper.pdf

 

 

Monetary policy spillovers and currency networks in cross-border bank lending

by Stefan Avdjiev and Előd Takáts

March 2016

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/work549.pdf

 

 

 

WITHDRAWAL FROM CORRESPONDENT BANKING

WHERE, WHY, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

2015

 

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/113021467990964789/pdf/101098-revised-PUBLIC-CBR-Report-November-2015.pdf

 

 

Correspondence course: Charting a future for US-dollar clearing and correspondent banking through analytics

2015

 

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/risk-assurance-services/publications/assets/pwc-correspondent-banking-whitepaper.pdf

 

 

Correspondent banking

July 2016

 

http://www.bis.org/cpmi/publ/d147.pdf

 

 

The Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Relationships: A Case for Policy Action

Michaela Erbenová, Yan Liu, Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Alejandro López-Mejía, Giancarlo Gasha, Emmanuel Mathias, Mohamed Norat, Francisca Fernando, and Yasmin Almeida

2016

 

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2016/sdn1606.pdf

 

 

FSB action plan to assess and address the decline in correspondent banking

End-2016 progress report and next steps

 

19 December 2016

 

http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/FSB-action-plan-to-assess-and-address-the-decline-in-correspondent-banking.pdf

 

 

Improving the BIS international banking statistics

http://www.bis.org/publ/cgfs47.pdf

 

 

Enhancements to the BIS international banking statistics

Stefan Avdjiev, Patrick McGuire and Philip Wooldridge

2014

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/bop/2014/pdf/14-25.pdf

 

 

Enhanced data to analyse international banking

Stefan Avdjiev Patrick McGuire Philip Wooldridge

2015

 

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/bop/2015/pdf/15-11a.pdf

 

 

 

Recent enhancements to the BIS statistics

BIS Quarterly Bulletin September 2016

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1609.htm

 

 

 

Enhancements to the International Banking Statistics

By John Lowes and David Osborn

2015

 

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Documents/ms/articles/art2may15.pdf

 

 

Toward a global risk map

Stephen G Cecchetti, Ingo Fender and Patrick McGuire1

Revised Draft May 2010

 

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ed86/7c8a4bf13bf32eab3fbe47da80875f22fedf.pdf

 

 

Bilateral Financial Linkages and Global Imbalances: a View on the Eve of the Financial Crisis

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

Francesco Strobbe

Natalia Tamirisa

This Draft: May 13, 2011

 

http://www.cepr.org/sites/default/files/Milesi-Ferretti_Bilateral%20Financial%20Linkages%20and%20Global%20Imbalances.pdf

 

 

Cross-border financial linkages: Identifying and measuring vulnerabilities

 

 

 

Global banks turning more local: Improved host countries’ financial stability

Gaston Gelos, Frederic Lambert

17 May 2015

http://voxeu.org/article/global-banks-turning-more-local

 

 

Drivers of cross-border banking since the Global Crisis

Franziska Bremus, Marcel Fratzscher

28 January 2015

http://voxeu.org/article/drivers-cross-border-banking-global-crisis

 

 

Systemic Risks in Global Banking What Available Data Can Tell Us and What More Data Are Needed?

Eugenio Cerutti, Stijn Claessens, and Patrick McGuire

 

http://www.nber.org/chapters/c12557.pdf

 

 

US Banks’ International Balance Sheet Linkages: A Data Survey

Carmela D’Avino

2014

 

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/69422/1/MPRA_paper_69422.pdf

 

 

G20 Agenda towards a More Stable and Resilient International Financial Architecture

2016

 

http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/2016/g20-international-financial-architecture.pdf

 

 

Cross-Border Interbank Networks, Banking Risk and Contagion

Lena Tonzer

2013

 

http://www.fiw.ac.at/fileadmin/Documents/Publikationen/Working_Paper/N_129-Tonzer.pdf

 

 

Developments in a Cross-Border Bank Exposure “Network”

Masazumi Hattori

Yuko Suda

2007

 

https://www.boj.or.jp/en/research/wps_rev/wps_2007/data/wp07e21.pdf

 

 

Systemic Risks in Global Banking: What Available Data Can Tell Us and What More Data are Needed?

By Eugenio Cerutti, Stijn Claessens and Patrick McGuire

April 18, 2012

 

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6798726.pdf

 

 

Globalisation and Financial Stability Risks: Is the Residency-Based Approach of the National Accounts Old-Fashioned?

Bruno Tissot

 

http://www.iariw.org/dresden/btissot.pdf

 

 

The currency dimension of the bank lending channel in international monetary transmission

Elod Takats and Judit Temesvary

2017-001

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2017/files/2017001pap.pdf

 

 

Banks and Cross-Border Capital Flows: Policy Challenges and Regulatory Responses

Committee on International Economic Policy and Reform

 

 

 

How the interactions of monetary and regulatory policies may have been ahead of the anti-globalisation backlash
Kristin Forbes, Dennis Reinhardt, Tomasz Wieladek

23 December 2016

http://voxeu.org/article/banking-deglobalisation-spillovers-and-interactions-monetary-and-regulatory-policies

 

 

European bank deleveraging and global credit conditions
Erik Feyen, Ines Gonzalez del Mazo

12 May 2013

http://voxeu.org/article/european-bank-deleveraging-and-global-credit-conditions

The Dollar Shortage, Again! in International Wholesale Money Markets

The Dollar Shortage, Again! in International Wholesale Money Markets

 

During the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, There were many European Banks which got into trouble due to shortage of US Dollar funding in the whole sale international interbank market.  US Federal Reserve eventually extended currency swaps to ECB and other central banks to ease the pressure.

Is it happening now?  There is no banking crisis but there seems to be Dollar Shortage.

 

Foreign Exposure of European Banks

Liquidity Constraints in Global Money Markets (International Interbank Market)

  • Eurodollar Market

Non US Borrowers got funding from FX Market

  • FX Swap
  • Currency Swap

and Non Bank Sources (Shadow Banking)

  • MMMF
  • ABCP

 

Funding and liquidity management

Funding can be defined as the sourcing of liabilities. Funding decisions are usually, but not exclusively, taken in view of actual or planned changes in a financial institution’s assets. The funding strategy sets out how a bank intends to remain fully funded at the minimum cost consistent with its risk appetite. Such a strategy must balance cost efficiency and stability. A strategy which targets a broader funding base may entail higher operating and funding costs, but through diversity provides more stable, reliable funding. One which focuses efforts on generating home currency funding may prove more reliable in adverse times but entail higher costs in normal markets. The balance of cost and benefit will reflect a range of factors (see Section 3). Accordingly, funding risk essentially refers to a bank’s (in-)ability to raise funds in the desired currencies on an ongoing basis. Liquidity management is the management of cash flows across an institution’s balance sheet (and possibly across counterparties and locations). It involves the control of maturity/currency mismatches and the management of liquid asset holdings. A bank’s liquidity management strategy sets out limits on such mismatches and the level of liquid assets to be retained to ensure that the bank remains able to meet funding obligations with immediacy across currencies and locations, while still reflecting the bank’s preferred balance of costs (eg of acquiring term liabilities or holding low-yielding liquid assets) and risks (associated with running large maturity or currency mismatches). Accordingly, liquidity risk refers to a bank’s (in-)ability to raise sufficient funds in the right currency and location to finance cash outflows at any given point in time. Funding and liquidity management are interrelated. Virtually every transaction has implications for a bank’s funding needs and, more immediately, for its liquidity management. The maturity transformation role of banks renders them intrinsically vulnerable to both institution-specific and market-related cash flow risks. The likelihood of an unexpected cash-flow shock occurring, and a bank’s ability to cope with it, will reflect not only the adequacy of its funding and liquidity management strategies, but also their coherence under stressed conditions. A bank’s funding strategy will condition liquidity management needs. Hence, the risks embedded in the chosen funding strategy will translate into risks that liquidity management will have to address. Failure to properly manage funding risk may suddenly manifest itself as a liquidity problem, should those sources withdraw funding at short notice. Conversely, inadequate liquidity risk management may place unmanageable strains on a bank’s funding strategy by requiring very large amounts of funding to be raised at short notice.

 

From The Global Financial Crisis and Offshore Dollar Markets

The Global Shortage of U.S. Dollars

International firms need U.S. dollars to fund their investments in U.S.-dollar-denominated assets, such as retail and corporate loans as well as securities holdings. The funding for these investments is typically obtained from a variety of sources: the unsecured cash markets, the FX swap market, and other shortterm wholesale funding markets.

During the financial crisis, a global shortage of dollars occurred, primarily reflecting the funding needs of European banks. Baba, McCauley, and Ramaswamy (2009) show that European banks had substantially increased their U.S. dollar asset positions from about $2 trillion in 1999 to more than $8 trillion by mid-2007. Until the onset of the crisis, these banks had met their funding requirements mainly by borrowing from the unsecured cash and commercial paper markets and by using FX swaps. Unfortunately, most unsecured funding sources eroded during the crisis. For example, U.S. money market funds abruptly stopped purchasing bank-issued commercial paper after they faced large redemptions associated with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Baba, McCauley, and Ramaswamy 2009). The reduced availability of dollars resulted in higher dollar funding costs.

The remainder of this article describes the increase in dollar funding costs as reflected in the FX swap market, the primary market enabling global financial institutions to manage multi- currency funding exposures without assuming the credit risk inherent in unsecured funding markets. As liquidity in major unsecured lending markets eroded, the demand for dollar funding through FX swap markets intensified sharply and pushed up the cost of raising dollars through FX swaps. Moreover, heightened demand for dollar funding in conjunction with a reduced willingness to lend dollars noticeably impaired the functioning of the FX swap market, particularly as term liquidity dried up.

 

Measures of Liquidity Tightening

  • LIBOR-OIS Spread
  • FX Swap implied basis spread

 

Two Measures

Two measures are used to show the increased cost of dollar funds in private markets during the crisis.

  • The first is the spread between the London interbank offered rate (Libor) and the overnight index swap (OIS) rate.
  • The second measure is the foreign exchange (FX) swap implied basis spread, which reflects the cost of funding dollar positions by borrowing foreign currency and converting it into dollars through an FX swap.

 

 

dollarshort2

 

 

What are the Money Markets

Wholesale money markets

  • Unsecured cash term deposits and loans
  • Money market calculations and conventions
  • Benchmark rates and their determination
  • Libor
  • Euribor
  • Overnight indexed rates such as Eonia and Sonia
  • Treasury bills (a first look at risk-free)
  • Commercial Paper – CP credit ratings
  • Secured money market loans – sale and repurchase agreements (Repos)

 

Money market derivatives

  • Short term interest rate futures (STIRs): Eurodollar, Short Sterling and Euribor futures
  • Forward rate agreements
  • Interest rate swaps
  • Overnight index swaps (OIS): Sonia and Eonia swaps
  • Monetary policy and the money markets

How a central bank uses money markets to transmit its interest rate intentions.

 

 

OTC US Dollar Money Markets:  Sources of short term Funding

A.  Fed Funds Market (Domestic)

B.  Interbank Money Market

  • Cash Market
  • Market for Short Term Securities
  • Market for Derivatives

Cash Market

  • Unsecured – Eurodollar
  • Secured – REPO
  • Secured (Collateralized markets) – FX Swap Market

Short Term Securities Market

  • T-Bills
  • Commercial Paper
  • Certificate of Deposits

Derivatives Market

  • Interest Rates Swaps

 

 

Money Markets in EU

In the unsecured market, activity is concentrated on the overnight maturity segment. The reference rate in this segment is the Eonia (Euro Overnight Index Average). It is a market index computed as the weighted average of overnight unsecured lending transactions undertaken by a representative panel of banks. The same panel banks contributing to the Eonia also quote for the Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate). The Euribor is the rate at which euro interbank term deposits are offered by one prime bank to another prime bank. This is the reference rate for maturities of one, two and three weeks and for twelve maturities from one to twelve months.11

The market for short term securities includes government securities (Treasury bills) and private securities (mainly commercial paper and bank certificates of deposits).

In the market for derivatives, typically interest rate swaps and futures are traded.

 

Is it happening again?

Policy Decisions such as

  • Rising Interest Rates
  • Stronger Dollar
  • Repatriation of Corporate profits from Europe
  • Unwillingness to extend of CB Swap Lines

can cause liquidity crisis which show up in

  • LIBOR rate
  • Eurodollar rate
  • OIS Rate
  • CIP breakdown
  • EURIBOR
  • TIBOR

 

Breakdown of CIP – Then and Now

 

dollarshort4

 

A brief history of the three key periods of global USD-funding shortfalls:

  • The first episode immediately after the Lehman bankruptcy coincided with a US banking crisis that quickly became a global banking crisis via cross border linkages. Financial globalization meant that Japanese banks had accumulated a large amount of dollar assets during the 1980s and 1990s. Similarly European banks accumulating a large amount of dollar assets during 2000s created structural US dollar funding needs. The Lehman crisis made both European and Japanese banks less creditworthy in dollar funding markets and they had to pay a premium to convert euro or yen funding into dollar funding as they were unable to access dollar funding markets directly.
  • The second episode of very negative dollar basis took place during the Euro debt crisis. The sovereign crisis created a banking crisis making Euro area banks less worthy from a counterparty/credit risk point of view in dollar funding markets. As dollar funding markets including fx swap markets dried up, these funding needs took the form of an acute dollar shortage. European banks and companies that had dollar assets to fund had to pay a hefty premium in fx swap markets to convert their euro funding into dollar funding. Those European banks and companies that were unable to do so, were forced to liquidate dollar assets such as dollar denominated bonds and loans to reduce their need for dollar funding
  • The third phase of very negative dollar basis started at the end of last year. Monetary policy divergence has for sure played a role during the end of 2014 and the beginning of this year. The ECB’s and BoJ’s QE has created an imbalance between supply and demand across funding markets. Funding conditions have become a lot easier outside the US with QE-driven liquidity injections raising the supply of euro and yen funding vs. dollar funding. This divergence manifested itself as one-sided order flow in cross currency swap markets causing a decline in the basis. And we did see these funding imbalances in cross border corporate issuance.

 

Emergent and Related Issues:

  • Global Liquidity
  • Offshore Dollar Money Markets
  • Eurodollar Market
  • International Lender of Last Resort
  • FX Swaps and Currency Swaps Market
  • Cross border funding
  • International Interbank Market
  • Shadow Banking – MMMF, ABCP,
  • LIBOR EURIBOR TIBOR
  • Covered Interest Parity (CIP) Breakdown
  • OIS LIBOR
  • Wholesale Funding Market
  • Global Credit
  • Credit Markets
  • Impact of Global Liquidity on Global Trade
  • Credit Networks of Global Banks
  • International Investment Positions of Banks
  • Derisking by global banks
  • Decline in Correspondent Banking
  • Shortage of Trade Finance

 

Why has Global Trade dropped so precipitously since 2014?

Is it because of shortage of US Dollars?

 

fx17

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

“This Is An Extremely Serious Problem” – Dollar Funding Shortage Hits Record In Japan

2016

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-17/extremely-serious-problem-dollar-funding-shortage-hits-record-japan

 

 

Global Dollar Shortage Intensifies To Worst Level Since 2012

2015

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-03/global-dollar-funding-shortage-intesifies-worst-level-2012

 

 

Dollar Illiquidity Getting Critical: A $10 Trillion Short Which The Fed Does Not Understand

2016

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-16/dollar-illiquidity-getting-critical-10-trillion-short-which-fed-does-not-understand

 

 

The VIX Is Dead: According To The BIS, This Is The New “Fear Indicator”

2016

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-15/vix-dead-according-bis-new-fear-indicator

 

 

New ICC survey finds worsening global shortage of trade finance

http://www.fx-mm.com/52872/news/trading-news/icc-survey-trade-finance/

 

 

 

A ‘dollar shortage’ has returned. This is why

2016

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/a-dollar-shortage-has-returned-this-is-why

 

 

Dollar shortage *alert* (plus global trade *alert*)

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/11/15/2179675/dollar-shortage-alert-plus-global-trade-alert/

 

 

As goes correspondent banking, so goes globalisation

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/07/26/2170875/as-goes-correspondent-banking-so-goes-globalisation/

 

 

How do you solve a problem like de-globalisation?

2015

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/09/24/2140786/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-de-globalisation/

 

 

On the ongoing demise of globalisation

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/10/11/2177071/on-the-ongoing-demise-of-globalisation/

 

 

Textbook defying global dollar shortages

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/06/09/2165690/textbook-defying-global-dollar-shortages/

 

 

The Coming Dollar Shortage

https://dailyreckoning.com/coming-dollar-shortage/

 

 

Dollar Shortage Goes Mainstream: When Will The Fed Confess?

2016

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-24/dollar-shortage-goes-mainstream-when-will-fed-confess

 

 

The Global Dollar Funding Shortage Is Back With A Vengeance And “This Time It’s Different”

2015

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-08/global-dollar-funding-shortage-back-vengeance-set-surpass-lehman-crisis-levels

 

 

The US dollar has been on a tear, and that will spell bad news for the rest of the world

http://markets.businessinsider.com/currencies/news/The-US-dollar-has-been-on-a-tear-and-that-will-spell-bad-news-for-the-rest-of-the-world-1001611294

 

 

There is a war for capital coming, says UBS

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/02/25/2154339/there-is-a-war-for-capital-coming-says-ubs/

 

 

The eurodollar as an economic no-man’s land

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/04/08/2158883/the-eurodollar-as-an-economic-no-mans-land/

 

 

 

Eurodollars, China, TIC data + mysteries

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/03/31/2157947/eurodollars-china-tic-data-mysteries/

 

 

Petrodollars are eurodollars, and eurodollar base money is shrinking

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/01/25/2151037/petrodollars-are-eurodollars-and-eurodollar-base-money-is-shrinking/

 

 

All about the eurodollars

2014

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2014/09/05/1957231/all-about-the-eurodollars/

 

 

A global reserve requirement for all those eurodollars

2016

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/04/15/2159277/a-global-reserve-requirement-for-all-those-eurodollars/

 

 

On the availability of dollar funding

2015

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/04/01/2125661/on-the-availability-of-dollar-funding/

 

 

The dollar shortage problem, evaluated

2009

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2009/08/05/65406/the-dollar-shortage-problem-evaluated/

 

 

All about the eurodollars, redux

2015

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/09/24/2140580/all-about-the-eurodollars-redux/

 

 

BIS says we should follow the money

2014

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2014/09/04/1955881/bis-says-we-should-follow-the-money/

 

 

Eurodollars, FX reserve managers and the offshore RRP issue

2015

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/09/01/2139085/eurodollars-fx-reserve-managers-and-the-offshore-rrp-issue/

 

 

The BoE as eurodollar dealer of last resort?

2015

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/02/20/2119663/the-boe-as-eurodollar-dealer-of-last-resort/

 

 

FT:  The Eurodollar Market: It All Starts Here

2016

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-04/eurodollar-market-it-all-starts-here

 

 

From turmoil to crisis: dislocations in the FX swap market before and after the failure of Lehman Brothers

N Baba

http://www.bis.org/publ/work285.htm

 

 

Dollar Funding and Global Banks

Jeremy C. Stein

2012

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/stein20121217a.pdf

 

 

The US dollar shortage in global banking and the international policy response

by Patrick McGuire and Götz von Peter

October 2009

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/work291.pdf

 

 

The US dollar shortage in global banking

 

Patrick McGuire Goetz von Peter

2009

http://www.treasury.nl/files/2009/03/treasury_1196.pdf

 

 

 

Emergent International Liquidity Agreements: Central Bank Cooperation after the Global Financial Crisis

Daniel McDowell

 

http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/dmcdowel/mcdowell_eln.pdf

 

 

The Financial Crisis through the Lens of Foreign Exchange Swap Markets

Crystal Ossolinski and Andrew Zurawski

2010

 

https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2010/jun/pdf/bu-0610-7.pdf

 

 

The spillover of money market turbulence to FX swap and cross-currency swap markets

N Baba

2008

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt0803h.pdf

 

 

Liquidity Shocks, Dollar Funding Costs, and the Bank Lending Channel During the European Sovereign Crisis

Ricardo Correa, Horacio Sapriza, and Andrei Zlate

2012

 

https://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2012/1059/ifdp1059.pdf

 

 

GLOBAL INTEGRATION OF BANKING MARKETS: AT WHAT COST?

John L. Simpson

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simpson_John/publication/228285672_Global_Integration_of_Banking_Markets_At_What_Cost/links/00463515e5285b6a85000000.pdf

 

 

Systemic risk in the major Eurobanking markets: Evidence from inter-bank offered rates

J.L. Simpson, J.P. Evans

2005

 

http://www.doa.kln.ac.lk/Journal/EJournals_3/Global%20Finance%20Journal/Volume%2016/Issue%202/jou2-2.pdf

 

 

The Eurocurrency interbank market: potential for international crises?.

Saunders, Anthony.

Business Review (1988): 17-27.

 

 

The Great Liquidity Freeze: What Does It Mean for International Banking?

Dietrich Domanski and Philip Turner

June 2011

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/156146/adbi-wp291.pdf

 

 

The Euro-dollar market as a source of United States bank liquidity

Steve B. Steib

 

http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6277&context=rtd

 

 

The LIBOR Eclipse: Political Economy of a Benchmark

Alexis Stenfors1 and Duncan Lindo

January 2016

http://www.erensep.org/images/pdf/rmf/discussion_papers/RMF-47_Stenfors-Lindo.pdf

 

 

Basics of U.S. Money Markets

2016

 

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/banking/usmpi/05.10.2016-moneymarkets-9.15am.pdf

 

 

Implementing Monetary Policy – Short-term Money Markets Monitoring

2015

 

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/banking/international/09.29.2015-mmarketsv2-1.30pm.pdf

 

 

The Dollar Squeeze of the Financial Crisis

Jean-Marc Bottazzia Jaime Luqueb

Mario R. Pascoac Suresh Sundaresand

 

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6611902.pdf

 

 

Central Bank Dollar Swap Lines and Overseas Dollar Funding Costs

 

 

 

 

The Global Financial Crisis and Offshore Dollar Markets

Niall Coffey, Warren B. Hrung, Hoai-Luu Nguyen, and Asani Sarkar

2009

 

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=1496407

 

 

 

When and how US dollar shortages evolved into the full crisis?: Evidence from the cross-currency swap market

Naohiko Baba* and Yuji Sakurai†

10/27/2009

http://www.hkimr.org/uploads/seminars/138/sem_paper_0_349_naohiko-baba.pdf

 

 

 

 

Funding patterns and liquidity management of internationally active banks

 

http://www.bankingreview.nl/download/23711

 

 

The functioning and resilience of cross-border funding markets

2010

CGFS 37

http://www.bis.org/publ/cgfs37.pdf

 

 

 

The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Cross-Border Funding

Yaz Terajima, Harri Vikstedt, and Jonathan Witme

2011

 

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/fsr-0610-terajima.pdf

 

 

Financial Crises and Risk Premiums in International Interbank Markets 

Shin-ichi Fukuda

Mariko Tanaka

 

https://www.mof.go.jp/english/pri/publication/pp_review/ppr020/ppr020f.pdf

 

 

Dollar Funding and the Lending Behavior of Global Banks

Victoria Ivashina

David S. Scharfstein

Jeremy C. Stein

October 2012

http://www.people.hbs.edu/dscharfstein/dollar_funding_october_2012_final.pdf

 

 

Financial crises and bank funding: recent experience in the euro area

by Adrian van Rixtel and Gabriele Gasperini

March 2013

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/work406.pdf

 

 

The Financial Crisis and Money Markets in Emerging Asia

Robert Rigg and Lotte Schou-Zibell

No. 38 | November 2009

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/28512/wp38-financial-crisis-money-markets.pdf

 

 

Money Market Integration

Leonardo Bartolini Spence Hilton Alessandro Prati

 

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr227.pdf

 

 

Segmentation in the U.S. Dollar Money Markets During the Financial Crisis

James J. McAndrews

May 19, 2009

 

https://www.imes.boj.or.jp/english/publication/conf/2009/Session2.pdf

 

 

Re-thinking the lender of last resort

September 2014

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/bppdf/bispap79.pdf

 

 

Towards an International Lender of Last Resort

Stephen G. Cecchetti

September 2014

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2504732

 

 

Global Liquidity: Public and Private

Jean-Pierre Landau

 

 

The Global Dollar System

Stephen G Cecchetti

http://people.brandeis.edu/~cecchett/Polpdf/Polp61.pdf

 

 

US dollar money market funds and non-US banks

Naohiko Baba Robert N McCauley Srichander Ramaswamy

2009

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt0903g.pdf

 

 

Improving the Resilience of Core Funding Markets

2009

Bank of Canada

Jean-Sébastien Fontaine, Jack Selody, and Carolyn Wilkins

 

 

How do Global Banks Scramble for Liquidity? Evidence from the Asset- Backed Commercial Paper Freeze of 2007*

by Viral V. Acharya Gara Afonso Anna Kovner

October 24, 2012

 

 

The Financial Crisis and Money Markets in Emerging Asia

Robert Rigg and Lotte Schou-Zibell

No. 38 | November 2009

 

 

Regulatory Reforms and the Dollar Funding of Global Banks:

Evidence from the Impact of Monetary Policy Divergence

Tomoyuki Iida

Takeshi Kimura

Nao Sudo

2016

 

https://www.boj.or.jp/en/research/wps_rev/wps_2016/data/wp16e14.pdf

 

 

Monetary policy spillovers and currency networks in cross-border bank lending

by Stefan Avdjiev and Előd Takáts

March 2016

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/work549.pdf

 

 

FUNDING LIQUIDITY RISK AND DEVIATIONS FROM INTEREST-RATE PARITY DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS OF 2007-2009

Prepared by Cho-Hoi Hui, Hans Genberg and Tsz-Kin Chung

2009

 

http://www.hkma.gov.hk/media/eng/publication-and-research/research/working-papers/HKMAWP09_13_full.pdf

 

 

Deviations from Covered Interest Rate Parity

Wenxin Du  Alexander Tepper  Adrien Verdelhan

January 1, 2016

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2768207

 

 

Limits to Arbitrage and Deviations from Covered Interest Rate Parity

 

 

Capital Constraints, Counterparty Risk, and Deviations from Covered Interest Rate Parity

Niall Coffey Warren B. Hrung Asani Sarkar

September 2009

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/staff_reports/sr393.pdf

 

 

Covered interest parity lost: understanding the cross-currency basis

Claudio Borio Robert McCauley Patrick McGuire Vladyslav Sushko

2016

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1609e.pdf

 

 

Bye-bye covered interest parity

Claudio Borio, Robert McCauley, Patrick McGuire, Vladyslav Sushko

28 September 2016

http://voxeu.org/article/bye-bye-covered-interest-parity

Understanding Global OTC Foreign Exchange (FX) Market

Understanding Global OTC Foreign Exchange (FX) Market

 

OTC FX Market is biggest market in the world.  About 5.1 trillion USD are traded in this market every day.

Originally all FX transactions were for cross border trades in goods and services, but later on developments led to speculative investments activities in foreign currencies.

OTC FX Market is decentralized.  It means there is no exchange on which currencies are traded. Interbank market in FX is among dealer banks.  Dealer Banks are the biggest global banks.  Top 10 banks who trade in FX have total trade volume of 67%.

USD is the dominant currency in global FX market.  UK is the biggest location for FX trading followed by USA and Singapore.  Hong Kong SAR and Japan are other important FX trading centers.

Markets operate 24/7 unlike other financial markets which open and close at certain times.

Bank of International Settlement publishes its triennial survey of global FX markets.  2016 survey showed 5.1 trillion USD/day FX turnover down from 5.3 T/Day back in 2013 survey.  Markets peaked in September of 2014 at 6.5 Trillion USD/day.  Since then the trend is declining.  De-risking by global banks, decline in global trade are cited as main reasons for decline.  Will attempt to understand this issue at a later date.

 

Following Issues emerge from this post but are not discussed here in detail.

  • Retail FX Market
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • Non Bank High Frequency Liquidity Providers
  • FX  Prime Brokerage
  • Financial Stability in OTC Market – Case for CCP
  • China RMB Internationalization
  • Clearing and Settlement in FX Markets – CLS Bank and CLSNet
  • Liquidity for FX trades – Funding and Market Liquidity

 

Highlights from the 2016 Triennial Survey of turnover in OTC foreign exchange markets:

  •   Trading in foreign exchange markets averaged $5.1 trillion per day in April 2016. This is down from $5.4 trillion in April 2013, a month which had seen heightened activity in Japanese yen against the background of monetary policy developments at that time.
  •   For first time since 2001, spot turnover declined. Spot transactions fell to $1.7 trillion per day in April 2016 from $2.0 trillion in 2013. In contrast, the turnover of FX swaps rose further, reaching $2.4 trillion per day in April 2016. This rise was driven in large part by increased trading of FX swaps involving yen.
  •   The US dollar remained the dominant vehicle currency, being on one side of 88% of all trades in April 2016. The euro, yen and Australian dollar all lost market share. In contrast, many emerging market currencies increased their share. The renminbi doubled its share, to 4%, to become the world’s eighth most actively traded currency and the most actively traded emerging market currency, overtaking the Mexican peso. The rise in the share of renminbi was primarily due to the increase in trading against the US dollar. In April 2016, as much as 95% of renminbi trading volume was against the US dollar.
  •   The share of trading between reporting dealers grew over the three-year period, accounting for 42% of turnover in April 2016, compared with 39% in April 2013. Banks other than reporting dealers accounted for a further 22% of turnover. Institutional investors were the third largest group of counterparties in FX markets, at 16%.
  •   In April 2016, sales desks in five countries – the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Japan – intermediated 77% of foreign exchange trading, up from 75% in April 2013 and 71% in April 2010.

 

Interbank (OTC) Market Infrastructure and Institutions

  • Banks
  • Non Banks
  • Exchanges

 

Top 10 Banks in FX

 

fx16

 

From All change in the 2016 Euromoney FX rankings

Citi holds on to the top ranking in this year’s Euromoney foreign exchange rankings, but elsewhere there have been unprecedented shifts.

Structural changes to the markets, management upheaval among many big banks, new non-bank entrants and lack of volumes and volatility have seemingly levelled the playing field among the industry’s biggest firms.

The biggest change in the rankings this year is the decline of the combined market share of the top five global banks. Their market share in the survey peaked in 2009 at 61.5% and was still above 60% as recently as 2014.

This year the top five banks account for just 44.7% of total volume. The hopes of many global FX heads and their investment bank bosses – that the share of the big banks would rise inexorably as the market became more automated and that they would be able to benefit from oligopolistic pricing power as a result – now seem like distant and deluded dreams.

One FX veteran tells Euromoney that the decline of the top five banks’ combined market share “is exactly what the regulators would want in a market they continue to keep a very close eye on.”

While the market share of the top 10 FX houses overall also declines, from over 75% last year to just 66% this year, the fall is entirely due to the performance of the top five banks. The banks ranked from sixth to 10th place overall produced a combined market share of 22%, roughly in line with the last five years of the survey and considerably higher than the 14% they managed in 2008.

Citi actually extends its lead over the second-placed bank in the survey, which market participants regard as the most accurate reflection of client-based activity in the global foreign exchange markets, to more than four percentage points – even though the bank’s own market share declined by more than three percentage points, from 16.11% in the 2015 survey to 12.91% of trading in 2016.

That winning market share is the lowest for any top-ranked bank in the survey since UBS won the survey in 2004.

Citi maintained its leadership overall in important product areas such as spot/forwards and swaps, as well as in the key real money and bank client categories. It rises one place this year to win in corporates and overall electronic market share, although it falls to third overall for options.

One big story in this year’s rankings is the decline of Deutsche Bank. It was once the undisputed leader in global foreign exchange, losing the top position in the Euromoney rankings three years ago after nearly a decade of dominance.

While new group CEO John Cryan has gone out of his way both publicly and privately to describe the FX business as one of the beleaguered bank’s crown jewels, the days when Deutsche Bank was able to secure an overall market share of more than 20% (as recently as 2009) are long gone.

In the latest set of rankings, Deutsche falls from second to fourth place overall: its market share of 7.86% is almost half what it was a year ago. Deutsche’s decline is widespread, and competitors say has been driven in part by the bank cutting back on the number of clients it covers. It falls from second to fifth in spot/forward; from second to eighth among real money clients and loses top spot among bank clients. It remains the leading overall options house.

Perhaps the most surprising fall of all is in its overall electronic market share. Deutsche’s Autobahn system revolutionized global FX trading and in banner years accounted for more than a quarter of all electronic trading. This year, Deutsche can only manage fourth place in e-market share, from holding the top ranking last year, and its share has fallen from 17.5% to 8.73%.

Two banks overtake Deutsche to move into the top three overall, but the similarities end there: the two banks in question have very different recent histories in global foreign exchange.

JPMorgan jumps to second place in the survey, with a market share of 8.77%, up from fourth place with 7.65% last year. For many years, competitors have said that JPMorgan has failed to punch its weight in FX; it has typically ranked outside the top five overall banks in the Euromoney survey for the last decade. Those accusations have less weight now, even though they have been replaced by rumours about the bank’s competitive pricing strategy.

The US bank rises across a range of categories. Its most notable successes are winning the leveraged fund category with a lead over second-placed UBS of almost eight percentage points and a market share of more than 18%; and jumping from fifth to second place in overall electronic trading. JPMorgan’s one poor ranking is now in options, where it comes a lowly eighth.

UBS returns to the top three global FX banks overall this year. A winner back in 2004, it has been outside the top three since 2009, and last challenged for the top spot overall a year earlier, when its market share of almost 16% was only beaten by Deutsche. Last year it fell to fifth place, its worst performance in a decade, with a market share of 7.3%.

Given the bank’s leadership has spent the last few years de-emphasizing the role of its investment bank, some competitors believed UBS was on a long, slow decline in FX.

But, quietly and consistently, UBS’s markets business has been recalibrating to the new capital and markets environment, as well as maintaining a commitment to best-in-class electronic platforms. Its overall market share rises to 8.76%; and it breaks into the top three overall in spot/forward, swaps, electronic market share and for bank clients. Like JPMorgan, it is a laggard in options, where it ranks seventh.

JPMorgan and UBS have one other important thing in common: while other banks have lost entire benches of senior management from their FX teams in recent years, JPMorgan and UBS have been relatively stable.

At the former, Troy Rohrbach has overseen the FX business since 2005 (he now also runs rates and public finance globally); at UBS, Chris Murphy and George Athanasopoulos, the global co-heads of FX, rates and credit, both joined the bank more than five years ago and have jointly run the division since 2013. Leadership, it seems, does count.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch continues its steady rise up the rankings of recent years, from a nadir of 12th place from 2009 to 2012. It finally breaks into the top five global FX houses overall, up from sixth place last year.

BAML jumped up the rankings into the top five for corporates and real money accounts, and gained ground in both swaps and options – in the latter, it ranks second globally. But BAML still has work to do in the electronic market, where its overall ranking fell from sixth to seventh place. Other US banks also performed well.

Goldman Sachs rose from ninth to seventh overall and Morgan Stanley jumped three places to break back into the top 10.

It has not been a good year in FX for Barclays. Perhaps the bank’s decision to not have a global head of foreign exchange has backfired. The UK-cum-transatlantic bank dropped from third place overall to sixth, and its market share from 8.11% to 5.67%.

Barclays slipped three places to seventh in spot/forward, four places to seventh in swaps and three places to ninth in options. Among client groups, its biggest reversal came among real money accounts, falling from fourth place last year to outside the top 10.

HSBC has also had a disappointing year, falling from seventh to eighth place overall. It also loses its top ranking among corporates last year, falling out of the top five of that client category altogether. Electronic trading remains the bank’s weakest link, and may even be getting weaker, as the bank falls to ninth place in overall e-market share.

New phenomenon

Banks have always risen and fallen in the Euromoney rankings over the last 40 years, but this year sees a new phenomenon – the advent of the non-bank liquidity provider. Leading the way is XTX Markets, a spin-off of GSA Capital, whose co-CEO Zar Amrolia was a frequent winner of the Euromoney FX rankings in his previous role as head of Deutsche Bank’s FX business.

In its first year of eligibility, the spot-only XTX makes a stunning debut: ninth place in the overall rankings with a market share of 3.87%; fourth in spot/forwards; fifth for bank clients; third for FX trading platforms; fifth overall for e-market share; and third for electronic trading of spot, ahead of Deutsche Bank with a market share of more than 10%.

XTX is the leader, but not the only non-bank entrant to the survey. Tower Research Capital, Jump Trading, Virtu Financial, Lucid Markets and Citadel Securities all make the top 50 overall market share rankings.

XTX’s ninth place overall looks like a line in the sand for the FX markets. The banks above it are, for the most part, the remaining price-makers; the banks below often price-takers, with the ability to make markets in particular currencies or products.

Many of the banks ranked outside the top 10 overall this year are understood to be sourcing liquidity from non-bank providers such as XTX, Tower and Jump. They look set to gain more market share in the future, helped by new technology, more defined business models and a lower-cost infrastructure base than the traditional FX banks. They could look to build capability in forwards and other markets in the near future.

Among multi-dealer platforms, Thomson Reuters – through its FXall service – remains the clear leader with a 30% market share, although its margin over second-ranked FXConnect almost halved. The big riser among MDPs was third-ranked HotspotFXi, which increased its market share from less than 7% to almost 18% this year.

Total volumes in the Euromoney FX survey came in at almost $95 trillion, while the number of votes held steady compared with last year at around 3,500 clients. That represents a volume fall of around 23% on last year, in line with market expectations.

 

 

Electronic FX platforms 

There are three types of trading platforms.

  • Interdealer
  • Multidealer
  • Singledealer

 

Trading platforms can be divided into three different types:

  • Inter-dealer electronic broking platforms. These platforms were developed in the 1990s and are regarded, according to the Bank for international Settlements (BiS, 2010), as the dominant source of interbank liquidity on the foreign exchange market. They mediate information on various market makers’ indicative prices. EBS and Reuters, based in London, are the two dominant platforms within this category.
  • Multi-bank platforms. These platforms are also known as multi-bank ECNs (electronic communication networks). They were created in the first decade of this century and resemble the previous category in that they mediate several market makers’ prices. one difference is that they have freer access regulations for market makers, which makes it easier for market makers to join these platforms. Another difference is that they are largely used outside the interbank market, which is to say by market participants that are not banks. The US platforms Fx All, currenex, Hotspot Fx, State Street and Fx connect are examples of this type of trading platform. There are also platforms that provide standardised algorithmic trading functions as a service. currenex is one such platform.
  • Single-bank platforms. This type of platform is run by an individual bank. The platform mediates only the individual bank’s own prices for various currency pairs, unlike the trading platforms discussed above, which mediate several market makers’ prices. in Sweden, SeB has a platform of this type, SeB Trading Station. other examples of banks with such platforms are JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and citibank.

 

A. Multi Dealer Platforms

J.P. Morgan has significantly increased its footprint on these platforms over the past couple of years and now ranks first for penetration globally, followed closely by Citi. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and HSBC round out the top five most prominent banks on MDPs.

B. Single Dealer Platforms

While multi-dealer systems are clearly on the rise, an average of more than 20% of trading volume of banks and hedge funds is still executed on single-bank platforms. Barclays, Citi and Deutsche Bank are the clear top three most actively used single-dealer platforms globally.

“Proprietary platforms give banks a means of retaining profitable trading volumes, so dealers are expanding these systems to provide a range of liquidity choices that enable clients to access the market in a variety of ways, including disclosed and non-disclosed liquidity, agency and principal trades, and links to exchange-based execution,” says Greenwich Associates Managing Director Woody Canaday.

C. Algorithmic Trading

Dealers are also in the early days of what promises to be an all-out arms race in algorithmic trading. Currently only 13% of top-tier FX customers use algorithmic trading models. However, that share approaches one-quarter among the market’s biggest buy-side participants and 30% among hedge funds.

Two trends suggest that algorithmic trading is gaining traction in FX. First, market participants that use algo-rithmic models are tapping an expanding number of dealers for algorithms. Second, current users are routing growing shares of trading volume through the models, from 25% in 2014 to 28% in 2015. Hedge funds that trade algorithmically now use these models for about half of total trading volume.

 

A.  Inter-dealer electronic broking platforms

  • Reuters Dealing 3000
  • ICAP EBS

EBS is the primary trading venue for EUR/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, USD/CHF, EUR/CHF and USD/CNH.

Thomson Reuters Matching is the primary trading venue for commonwealth (AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CAD) and emerging market currency pairs.

 

ICAP EBS

EBS was created by a partnership of the world’s largest foreign exchange (FX) market making banks in 1990 to challenge Reuters’ threatened monopoly in interbank spot foreign exchange and provide effective competition. By 2007, approximately US$164 billion in spot foreign exchange transactions were traded every day over EBS’s central limit order book, EBS Market.

EBS’s closest competitor is Reuters Dealing 3000 Spot Matching. The decision by an FX trader whether to use EBS or Thomson Reuters Matching is driven largely by currency pair. In practice, EBS is the primary trading venue for EUR/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, USD/CHF, EUR/CHF and USD/CNH, and Thomson Reuters Matching is the primary trading venue for commonwealth (AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CAD) and emerging market currency pairs.

EBS initiated e-trading in spot precious metals, spanning spot gold, silver, platinum and palladium, and remains the leading electronic broker in spot gold and silver through the Loco London Market.

They were the first organisation to facilitate orderly black box or algorithmic trading in spot FX, through an application programming interface (API). By 2007 this accounted for 60% of all EBS flow.

In addition to spot FX and Precious Metals, EBS has expanded trading products through its venues to include NDFs, forwards and FX options. It has also increased the range of trading style to include RFQ and streaming in disclosed and non-disclosed environments.

EBS was acquired by ICAP, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, in June 2006. ICAP said that the acquisition would combine EBS’ strengths in electronic spot foreign exchange with ICAP’s Electronic Broking business to create a single global multi-product business with further growth potential and significant economies of scale. It went on to say that would provide customers with more efficient electronic trade execution, reduced integration costs and give access to broad liquidity across a wide product range.[1]

In 2014, EBS merged with BrokerTec – a leading service provider in the fixed income markets – to form EBS BrokerTec. BrokerTec’s offering comprises trading solutions for many US and European fixed income products including US Treasuries, European Government Bonds and European Repo.

EBS BrokerTec is now recognised as a market-leading e-trading technology and solutions provider, offering access to multiple execution options and diverse, valuable liquidity across the FX and fixed income markets.

 

  • ICAP EBS is one of the world’s premier inter-dealer brokers with average daily transaction volume in excess of USD 2.3 trillion.
  • ICAP’s electronic EBS platform provides the primary market of natural interest for more than 2800 global FX, Precious Metals and NDF traders.
  • ICAP EBS global access platform delivers anonymous, transparent and reliable FX Liquidity.
  • Authoritative real-time and historical market data.
  • Available for clearing only. Relationship with EBS required.

 

B. Multidealer Platforms – FX ECNs

Since 1999, banks have been developing proprietary systems for their customers to trade foreign exchange and access research material over the internet. To trade with multiple banks online, customers therefore need to use a variety of authentication methods, websites and price request methods. Multi-bank platforms have evolved to allow customers to use a single website to request prices simultaneously from multiple banks and view research material online. Multi-bank platforms (also known as ECNs or electronic communication networks) offer significant advantages to customers, but fewer advantages to banks, and therefore active participation by banks in multi-bank platforms is driven largely by customer demand. However, for the banks it remains preferable for their customers to trade through bank proprietary systems as the banks avoid paying brokerage and customers are encouraged to focus only on the particular bank’s prices.

There are five main customer-facing FX ECNs:

FXall – founded by Bank of America, Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and UBS

Currenex – independent and venture backed by major market participants, e.g. Barclays Capital and Royal Dutch/Shell

FX Connect – owned by State Street

360T – independent and venture backed by financial and major private investors

Hotspot FXi – independent privately held venture capital-backed company

 

 

Currency Trading Shifts to Multi-Dealer Systems, Greenwich Says

Lananh Nguyen
July 14, 2015, 11:28 AM EDT

Currency investors are increasingly using electronic systems connected to multiple dealers as the market comes under greater scrutiny by regulators, according to Greenwich Associates.

Institutional investors and large corporations executed 49 percent of their foreign-exchange trading volumes on multi-dealer platforms last year, up from 45 percent in 2013 and 38 percent in 2008, the Stamford, Connecticut-based consultant said in a report. The increase comes as trading by traditional methods, such as phone, instant messaging and single-dealer platforms, has fallen.

“The FX ‘fixing scandal’ and related bank fines have already played a part in changing buy-side behavior,” wrote Kevin McPartland, head of research for market structure and technology at Greenwich, who co-authored the report based on interviews with more than 1,600 people participating in foreign-exchange markets globally.

Asset-management companies are boosting electronic trading as regulatory scrutiny discourages banks and dealers from providing “market color” to clients to avoid any perception of impropriety, according to Greenwich. The platforms are also becoming more popular as banks become less active in currency markets because of rising capital requirements.

“Asset managers have proactively worked to beef up internal policies to both ensure maximum returns for the impacted funds and to reassure customers, such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, that they’re getting the best the market has to offer at that moment in time,” McPartland wrote.

Thomson Reuters Corp.’s FXall platform had the largest volume-weighted share of trading last year at 21 percent, according to Greenwich. It’s followed in popularity by 360T, State Street Corp.’s Currenex, Bloomberg LP’s FXGO and FX Connect.

 

Dealer-to-client platforms

  • State Street FX Connect
  • Thomson Reuters FXall
  • State Street Currenex
  • CBOE/BATS Hotspot FX
  • Bloomberg FXGO

 

fx11

 

C. Single Dealer FX Trading Platforms

  • Barclays BARX
  • Citi Velocity
  • Deutsche Autobahn
  • Morgan Stanley Matrix
  • UBS Neo

 

Best Single-Dealer FX Trading Platform

Financial News is delighted to announce the . The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London in October.

Here are the nominees in the category of Best Single-Dealer FX Trading Platform:

Barclays BARX
The BARX platform remains a dominant force among single-dealer platforms, with streaming prices in more than 80 currencies and 480 currency pairs, with a wide range of products available. Following the launch of BARX Gator, a liquidity aggregator, Barclays now gives clients access to the increasingly popular agency-style of execution.

Citi Velocity
Since its relaunch in 2012, Citi Velocity 2.0 has become a leading source of single-bank liquidity in FX cash, options and rates trading. Citi has also led the adoption of mobile and tablet technology in this space, and has focused its efforts with Velocity on delivering speed, lower transaction costs, cross-asset information, cross-asset trading, deep liquidity, and desktop efficiency.

Deutsche Bank Autobahn
Deutsche Bank has channelled significant resources into its electronic trading franchise in recent years, and Autobahn remains a major player across asset classes. In FX, Autobahn provides a single blotter for trades executed via both voice and electronic channels. Users can thus benefit from a combined view and take greater control over their portfolios.

Morgan Stanley Matrix
While not a top-tier bank in FX, Morgan Stanley has sought to add unique value with its Matrix platform. That has been achieved in part through execution and post-trade services, but also through the bank’s quantitative solutions and innovations group, which develops unique analytical tools to help users make more informed trading and investment decisions.

UBS Neo
Launched in 2013, UBS Neo is a cross-asset class platform providing a single point of access with a strong user experience, re-establishing the Swiss bank as a significant player in electronic trading. UBS Neo FX covers 550 currency pairs, with access to cash, NDFs and options available through the platform.

 

Trends in use of Electronic Platforms

fx10

 

From The $4 trillion question: what explains FX growth since the 2007 survey?

Electronic execution methods are transforming the FX market The greater activity of all three of the above-mentioned customer types – highfrequency traders, banks as clients and retail investors – is closely related to the growth of electronic execution methods in FX markets. Greenwich Associates estimates that more than 50% of total foreign exchange trading volume is now being executed electronically (Graph 3, left-hand panel).

Electronic execution methods can be divided into three categories: electronic brokers, multi-bank trading systems and single-bank trading systems. Electronic brokers were introduced in the inter-dealer FX market as early as in 1992. For customers, however, the main channel for trading continued to be direct contact with dealers by telephone. In the rather opaque and fragmented FX market of the 1990s, barriers to entry were high and competition was limited. Customers typically paid large spreads on their FX trades.

The first multi-bank trading system was Currenex, which was launched in 1999. By providing customers with competing quotes from different FX dealers on a single page, Currenex increased transparency, reduced transaction costs and attracted a growing customer base. State Street’s FXConnect, which had been launched in 1996 as a single-bank trading system servicing only State Street’s clients, opened up in 2000 and became a multi-bank ECN.

In response to the increased competition, top FX dealers launched proprietary single-bank trading systems for their clients, such as Barclays’ BARX in 2001, Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn in 2002 and Citigroup’s Velocity in 2006. According to data provided to the BIS, daily average trading volumes on the top single-bank trading systems have increased by up to 200% over the past three years.

 

 

Market Participants in

  • Interbank Market
  • Retail Market

Forex Market Players

Forex Market

The Forex market is an international over-the-counter market (OTC). It means that it is a decentralized, self-regulated market with no central exchange or clearing house, unlike stocks and futures markets. This structure eliminates fees for exchange and clearing, thereby reducing transaction costs.

The Forex OTC market is formed by different participants – with varying needs and interests – that trade directly with each other. These participants can be divided in two groups: the interbank market and the retail market.

The Interbank Market

The interbank market designates Forex transactions that occur between central banks, commercial banks and financial institutions.

Central Banks – National central banks (such as the US Fed and the ECB) play an important role in the Forex market. As principal monetary authority, their role consists in achieving price stability and economic growth. To do so, they regulate the entire money supply in the economy by setting interest rates and reserve requirements. They also manage the country’s foreign exchange reserves that they can use in order to influence market conditions and exchange rates.

Commercial Banks – Commercial banks (such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays) provide liquidity to the Forex market due to the trading volume they handle every day. Some of this trading represents foreign currency conversions on behalf of customers’ needs while some is carried out by the banks’ proprietary trading desk for speculative purpose.

Financial Institutions – Financial institutions such as money managers, investment funds, pension funds and brokerage companies trade foreign currencies as part of their obligations to seek the best investment opportunities for their clients. For example, a manager of an international equity portfolio will have to engage in currency trading in order to buy and sell foreign stocks.

The Retail Market

The retail market designates transactions made by smaller speculators and investors. These transactions are executed through Forex brokers who act as a mediator between the retail market and the interbank market. The participants of the retail market are hedge funds, corporations and individuals.

Hedge Funds – Hedge funds are private investment funds that speculate in various assets classes using leverage. Macro Hedge Funds pursue trading opportunities in the Forex Market. They design and execute trades after conducting a macroeconomic analysis that reviews the challenges affecting a country and its currency. Due to their large amounts of liquidity and their aggressive strategies, they are a major contributor to the dynamic of Forex Market.

Corporations – They represent the companies that are engaged in import/export activities with foreign counterparts. Their primary business requires them to purchase and sell foreign currencies in exchange for goods, exposing them to currency risks. Through the Forex market, they convert currencies and hedge themselves against future fluctuations.

Individuals – Individual traders or investors trade Forex on their own capital in order to profit from speculation on future exchange rates. They mainly operate through Forex platforms that offer tight spreads, immediate execution and highly leveraged margin accounts.

 

Trend Towards Exchanges ?

Only 200 billion daily turnover using exchanges

 

Exchanges are staking out the $5tn a day global currency market as part of their latest efforts to tap this lucrative and booming sector that has long been dominated by global banks.

This week Bats Global Markets, the US’s second largest equities exchange, fired the latest salvo by offering three months of free trading on its forthcoming London-based Hotspot currency trading platform, the centrepiece of Bats’ $365m purchase of the venue from KCG Holdings in March.

That came only days after Deutsche Börse, Europe’s largest exchanges operator, bought 360T, one of the world’s largest currency trading networks, for €725m.

Their moves are audacious attempts to break into the world’s most liquid over-the-counter market, where a notional $5.3tn a day is traded in cash, or spot, and derivatives trades. It is dominated by banks, which continue to make billions of dollars in profits from it each year. Exchanges have generally been unable to establish a presence in this and other OTC markets, despite repeated attempts to do so.

In currencies, Chicago’s CME Group dominates futures trading, reflecting how it seized the terrain in the 1970s when the present era of floating foreign exchanges began. Markets in Moscow, Brazil and India also trade local currency, but of that $5.3tn total, global exchanges account for just $200bn according to Aite Group, a financial markets consultancy.

However, cracks are appearing in the market edifice, brought on by a combination of unlawful activity by banks, deep structural change and the emergence of cheap and reliable technology that has allowed alternative ways of trading to emerge.
“The banks as a whole will continue to have a substantial piece of the pie but the regulations will force them to let go of pieces of it,” says Javier Paz, an analyst at Aite Group.

Waves of post financial crisis regulation have accelerated change in equity and interest rate swaps markets, but global policymakers largely left the currency market alone.

However, the currency industry is mopping up after two of its own existential crises — the Wm/Reuters benchmark rate rigging scandal, which resulted in multibillion-dollar fines for banks, and the sudden move by the Swiss franc in January when the national central bank abolished its ceiling against the euro.

Market observers say that end users such as corporations, hedge funds and asset managers are now taking far more care with their orders, and they have the tools to do it, turning the banks more into agency brokers.

“End users are getting used to technology where they have a full view of the market. They are accessing more markets than they could ever do 10 years ago,” says Chris Concannon, chief executive of Bats Global Markets.

At the same time, incidents like the Swiss move have also raised the alarm among banks. By the end of that day in January some smaller retail brokers faced ruin but even several larger broker-dealers such as Barclays, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank nursed tens of millions of dollars in losses. That has also left the market seeking as many different venues as possible where they can offset their customers’ trades.
“People are not holding risk like they were a year ago. A year ago they would warehouse that risk and wait for another customer to come along,” says Mr Concannon.

Not helping matters is how foreign exchange market liquidity is highly concentrated among just a handful of trading pairs, known as the G10. Into the gap on the other side of the trade are stepping high-frequency traders such as the US’s Virtu Financial. It is one of the world’s largest currency market makers.

“Clients that are trading on anonymous platforms by definition have no insight into whom they are trading with, and as such are likely interacting with non-bank liquidity providers more often than they know,” notes a report by Greenwich Associates last month.

However, even if the diagnosis is right, exchanges still face tough competition from well-established platforms not run by banks, such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg FXGO and ICAP’s EBS. These make up the majority of the $1.1tn average daily volume traded on electronic FX platforms and provide a role as a more centralised price benchmark independent of banks.

Bats, which has targeted London because it is the world’s main location for forex trading, will aim to provide a reliable venue for pricing and take more trading volume from the 220 banks, asset managers, hedge funds, dealers and retail brokers signed up to the venue.

Deutsche Börse sees 360T as a key part of its growth strategy, using it as a way to sell market data and develop futures, FX forwards and swaps trading to boost its Eurex derivatives business. But it is trading network, not an exchange-like central limit order book.

Critically, OTC markets are historically highly resistant to encroachment from exchanges and some see little sign of that changing.

The head of one currency trading platform says: “I don’t see any signs of moving to an exchange model. I don’t see a slam dunk here, I see some desperate buyers looking for a growth story.”

OTC FX trading becomes ‘exchange-like’

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The acquisition of trading platforms Hotspot and 360T by Bats Global Markets and Deutsche Börse respectively last year were bold statements of intent by exchange operators to grab a larger chunk of the trillions of dollars traded in FX every day.

FXSpotStream

However, while consolidation in the venues supporting FX trading can be expected to result in exchanges becoming more involved in the FX space, any actual market structure change is likely to take a long time to materialize, according to

FXSpotStream CEO Alan Schwarz.

“The FX market continues to do a good job of addressing regulatory requirements and meeting the demands of market participants,” he says.

“We have seen a shift in the FX market looking to trade more on a disclosed basis. Our business has continued to see year-on-year growth because there is a move taking place from exchange-like anonymous trading to bilateral, fully disclosed trading between counterparties.

“Unlike trading on an exchange, the relationship via FXSpotStream is transparent and trading with the liquidity providing banks is on a fully disclosed basis.”

Nuances

Kevin McPartland, head of market structure and technology research at Greenwich Associates, believes that discussion of migration from OTC to exchange fails to take account of some of the nuances of the FX market and that the future lies in venues that support multiple trading models.

“There are a host of non-exchange electronic trading venues that allow clients to trade with each other in a variety of ways,” he says.

Kevin McPartland,
Greenwich Associates

On the question of whether there is a discernible shift towards fully disclosed trading, McPartland refers to both central limit order book (CLOB) and request-for-quote (RFQ) having their merits.

Despite observations made by the likes of TeraExchange – that order book platforms offer a democratic marketplace through transparent, firm and executable prices – corporates have remained reluctant to abandon the RFQ model.

The key question for CLOB platform providers continues to be not why market participants have migrated to alternative models but rather when they will be in a position to win new business for products that are most suited for order books, such as the benchmarks and plain vanilla products.

“RGQ offers liquidity on demand and identification of counterparties, whereas CLOB is faster and its anonymity can be helpful,” says McPartland.

“But we are now seeing demand for a solution that provides the best of both worlds by enabling trading in an order book format while maintaining a bilateral relationship with counterparties.”

Regulation

According to James Sinclair, CEO of MarketFactory, options and other derivatives are moving closer to an exchange model due to the direct effects of regulation and the increased costs of compliance in OTC markets.

He refers to CME FX options as an example, noting they are effectively options on futures.

“However, the situation in the spot market is more complicated – some aspects are becoming closer to an exchange, others are moving further away,” he says. “FX has its own market structure that is hard to fit into the OTC/exchange paradigm.”

James Sinclair,
MarketFactory

One of the fundamental reasons why the market does not become centrally cleared, says Sinclair, is that a cleared model carries the cost of insurance against both settlement and market risk.

“CLS insures you against settlement risk but not the market risk,” he adds. “Counterparts still find it cheaper to self-insure against market risk in case of a counterparty default than to pay the extra cost of a fully cleared solution.”

A senior platform source observes that growth in exchange-traded products has largely come from futures traders who have looked for diversification and added FX as another asset class.

“Very little business has moved from OTC – some banks have added exchanges as additional liquidity sources to cover risk, but that is really the only business that has crossed the divide,” the source says.

OTC has become more exchange-like in that the largest banks have continued to extend their internalization of flow, so each now runs an order book trading structure internally.

However, our source also points out that the tightening of credit has reduced the number of prime brokers in FX and costs have risen “so the nearest thing that the FX OTC market has to centralized clearing has actually reduced its volume and capacity”, he concludes.

 

Evolution of Information Exchange in Trading Platforms

  • Clients C
  • Voice Broker VB
  • Dealers D
  • Electronic Broker EB
  • Prime Broker PB
  • Retail Aggregator – RA
  • Multi Bank Trading – MBT
  • Single Bank Trading – SBT

 

fx12

 

fxtradingplatforms_1

 

Top 10 FX Turnover Locations

  • United Kingdom – 37%
  • United States – 20%
  • Singapore – 7.9%
  • Hong Kong SAR – 6.7%
  • Japan – 6.1 %
  • France – 2.8%
  • Switzerland – 2.4%
  • Australia – 1.9%
  • Germany – 1.8%
  • Canada – 1.3%

 

fx13

 

FX Instruments

  • Spot
  • FX Swap
  • Outright Forward
  • Currency Swaps
  • FX Options

 

fx3

 

fx4

fx15

 

 

Currencies and Currency Pairs

US Dollar is the king in FX market.  87.6% of transactions include USD on one side of currency pair.  Euro comes at second with 31%.  Japanese Yen is at 21.6%.  UK Pound Sterling is at 12.8%.  Chinese Yuan has moved to 4%.

fx

 

Currencies and Currencies Pairs

fx2

 

Trends in FX Market

  • Electronic Trading
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • High Frequency Trading
  • Non Bank Liquidity Providers (Market Makers)

 

Non Bank Electronic Market Makers

The diverse set of non-bank electronic market-makers includes

  • XTX Markets
  • Virtu Financial
  • Citadel Securities
  • GTS
  • Jump Trading.

These market-makers’ trading volume is captured in the Triennial because their trades are prime-brokered by a dealer bank. They are active on multilateral trading platforms, where they provide prices to banks’ e-trading desks, retail aggregators, hedge funds and institutional clients.

 

 

Chinese RMB – in FX Markets

  • Second in Trade Finance
  • Sixth in Payments
  • Eighth in FX Trading

 

Considering China’s Renminbi for International Settlement and Forex Trading

On October 1, 2016, the International Monetary Fund added China’s renminbi1 (RMB) to its elite Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket of currencies, alongside the U.S. dollar, euro, yen and British pound. IMF said the change reflected China’s progress in reforming its monetary, foreign exchange and financial systems, and improving its financial market infrastructure.2 Short-term, this means countries can now include RMB assets in official FX reserves, making it easier for them to meet IMF guidelines.3 Beyond this, however, inclusion in SDR is a symbol of RMB’s emergence as an international currency for forex trading and settlement of global business transactions.

RMB’s ongoing progress is an important consideration for businesses involved in any FX trading, and particularly for those whose business or currency trading activities involve China.

RMB Usage Grows in Trade and Currency Trading

IMF’s decision arrives in the context of growing RMB usage in trade finance, international payments, and forex trading. In trade finance, RMB is now second amongst world currencies, reflecting enormous international trade with China.4

Since 2013, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication’s (SWIFT’s) monthly Renminbi Tracker, China’s currency has risen from ninth to fifth worldwide in total payments sent and received by value, not counting payments by central banks. During that period, it surpassed the Swedish Krona (SEK), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Swiss Franc (CHF), Australian Dollar (AUD) and, briefly during summer 2015, even the yen (JPY). RMB use is growing slowly in some markets (such as France, Switzerland and Germany), and is rapidly accelerating in others (e.g., the United Arab Emirates).5 SWIFT has elsewhere reported that 50 countries now use RMB for 10 percent or more of their trade with China.6

Meanwhile, according to the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS’) September 2016 Central Bank Survey, RMB has doubled its share of OTC currency trading transactions since 2013. It has surpassed Mexico’s peso to become the most active developing market currency on forex trading exchanges, and is now eighth in FX trading amongst all currencies worldwide. BIS’s report notes that “as much as 95 percent of renminbi trading volume was against the U.S. dollar.”7

Building the Global Infrastructure for an Internationalized Currency

To promote RMB usage abroad, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) – China’s central bank – has authorized 18 new official clearing banks worldwide since December 2012. These have opened in locations including Toronto, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Sydney, Seoul and Taipei.8 In September 2016, PBOC announced the first RMB clearing and settlement services in the U.S.9

Domestically, China has eliminated a cap on the number of enterprises permitted to carry out cross-border RMB settlements. Any company permitted to engage in import-export business may settle in RMB, unless it appears on a “black name list” (in which case its transactions may be reviewed individually).10 Restrictions have also been relaxed on RMB-denominated investments by foreigners.11

As Yu Yongding of the Asian Development Bank Institute has pointed out, China is the only country that has ever decided on its own to make internationalizing its currency a national priority.12 In determining how far RMB’s internationalization will go, China’s authorities appear to be balancing the benefits and risks of liberalization,13 carefully timing their decisions accordingly.

They face significant obstacles, not least the continuing downward pressure on the value of China’s currency on forex trading exchanges since it peaked against the U.S. dollar in early 2014. Some market observers believe RMB faces bank sector headwinds that might require a government bailout,14 as well as increased protectionist pressures in the U.S.15 and elsewhere. If these events lead to further reductions in RMB’s value, China could face accelerating capital flight,16 deepening internal opposition to the full elimination of capital controls.

Transacting in RMB

China’s reforms have made it easier for companies that do business in China to settle their transactions in RMB if they so desire. Many of their Chinese trading partners would welcome this, and some may even offer discounts if they can invoice in RMB.17 China’s central bank has estimated that transacting in U.S. dollars may add 2-to-3 percent in administrative expenses alone.18

The risk of currency fluctuation, however, remains a significant issue. Hedging vehicles exist; of course, these have their own costs. In making the decision about whether to transact business in RMB or another currency, companies may wish to make careful and timely assessments about currency risk.

The Takeaway

As China’s financial and market reforms move forward, RMB is emerging as a leading international currency. It has become far easier for international businesses and currency traders to transact in China’s home currency. International businesses may wish to carefully consider currency risk in developing their own plans for RMB forex trading and settlement.

 

 

Key Terms:

  • PB (Prime Brokerages)
  • Inter Dealer
  • Multi Dealer Trading
  • Single Dealer Trading
  • HFT (High Frequency Trading)
  • Market Makers
  • Liquidity Providers
  • Retail Aggregators
  • Retail FX Systems
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • FX ECNs (Electronic Communication Networks)
  • e-Trading
  • Hedge Funds
  • Institutional Clients
  • Non Bank Liquidity Providers
  • FXPB (Foreign Exchange Prime Brokerage)

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

Buttonwood The financial markets in an era of deglobalisation

Why the global volume of foreign-exchange trading is shrinking

Dec 15th 2016

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21711887-why-global-volume-foreign-exchange-trading-shrinking-financial?zid=295&ah=0bca374e65f2354d553956ea65f756e0

 

 

Downsized FX markets: causes and implications

BIS

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1612.pdf

 

 

Triennial Central Bank Survey Foreign exchange turnover in April 2016

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/rpfx16fx.pdf

 

 

TheForeign Exchange andInterest Rate Derivatives Markets:Turnover in the United States, April 2016

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/markets/pdf/2016triennialreport.pdf

 

 

 

The foreign exchange and over-the-counter interest rate derivatives market in the United Kingdom 

Quarterly Bulletin 2016 Q4
16 December 2016

By Alexander Hutton and Edward Kent

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/quarterlybulletin/2016/q4/a6.aspx

 

 

The anatomy of the global FX market through the lens of the 2013 Triennial Survey

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1312e.pdf

 

 

The foreign exchange and over-the-counter interest rate derivatives market in the United Kingdom

2013

 

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/quarterlybulletin/2013/qb130410.pdf

 

 

The $4 trillion question: what explains FX growth since the 2007 survey?

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1012e.pdf

 

 

 

CME Group OTC FX Clearing

 

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/fx/files/otc-fx-clearing.pdf

 

 

 

CME Group Cleared OTC Financial Products

 

http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/otc/files/cleared-otc-financial-products.pdf

 

 

Citi tops Euromoney global FX poll again, but big banks lose grip

http://www.reuters.com/article/global-forex-euromoney-idUSL5N18M29O

 

 

Foreign Exchange Market

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_exchange_market

 

 

All change in the 2016 Euromoney FX rankings

http://www.euromoney.com/Article/3556871/All-change-in-the-2016-Euromoney-FX-rankings.html?single=true

 

 

World’s Best FX Providers 2017

Automation, “algo trading” and a tighter regulatory environment are driving change in the industry

https://www.gfmag.com/topics/blogs/it-pays-have-good-forex-bank

 

 

360T

http://www.360t.com/about-us/press/

 

 

CBOE Will Acquire BATS Global Markets for $3.2 Billion

http://fortune.com/2016/09/26/cboe-acquires-bats/

 

 

e-FOREX

http://www.e-forex.net/institutional-fx-ecommerce.html

 

 

Providing Differentiated Service in an Ever-Evolving Market

2016 Greenwich Leaders: Global Foreign Exchange Services

https://www.greenwich.com/fixed-income-fx-cmds/providing-differentiated-service-ever-evolving-market

 

 

Press Release: Best FX Awards 2017 – Providers and Corporate

https://www.gfmag.com/media/press-releases/best-fx-awards-2017-providers-and-corporate

 

 

 

Global Finance Names The World’s Best Foreign Exchange Providers 2016

https://www.gfmag.com/media/press-releases/global-finance-names-worlds-best-foreign-exchange-providers-2016

 

 

Global Banking & Finance Review Awards – 2015

https://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/global-banking-finance-review-awards-2015/

 

 

New Electronic Trading Systems in Foreign Exchange Markets

2003

D Rime

http://www.unich.it/~vitale/Rime-1.pdf

 

http://faculty.georgetown.edu/evansm1/New%20Micro/Rime%20New%20Electronic%20FX1.pdf

 

 

Foreign exchange market structure, players and evolution

Michael R. King, Carol Osler and Dagfinn Rime

2011

http://www.unich.it/~vitale/Rime-2.pdf

 

 

Settlement Risk in the Global FX Market: How Much Remains?

8 Nov 2016

Dino Kos

Richard M. Levich

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2827530

 

 

The Retail Spot Foreign Exchange Market Structure and Participants
John H. Forman III

March 22, 2016

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2753823

 

 

Algorithmic trading in the foreign exchange market

Maria Bergsten and Johannes Forss sandahl

2013

 

http://www.riksbank.se/Documents/Rapporter/POV/2013/2013_1/rap_pov_artikel_2_130321_eng.pdf

 

 

The Future of the Foreign Exchange Market

Richard K. Lyons

 

http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/lyons/Lyons%20Brookings.pdf

 

 

Multi Bank Platforms

http://www.londonfx.co.uk/ecn.html

 

 

ECNs/Alternative Trading Systems

https://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/mrecn.shtml

 

 

The Transition to Electronic Communications Networks in the Secondary Treasury Market

Bruce Mizrach and Christopher J. Neely

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.205.6479&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

 

Deal or no deal: anatomy of an FX portal

http://treasurytoday.com/2013/06/deal-or-no-deal-anatomy-of-an-fx-portal

 

 

The 3 Pillars of Forex

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-11/3-pillars-forex

 

 

THE VALUE OF APAMA

IN FAST-CHANGING FX MARKETS

 

https://www.softwareag.com/corporate/images/sec_SAG_Apama_In-Fast-Changing-FX-Markets_4PG_WP_Feb16_tcm16-116205.pdf

 

 

The Global Foreign Exchange Market: Growth and Transformation

 

William Barker

 

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/barker.pdf

 

 

FX ALL

http://www.fxall.com

 

 

Currenex

https://www.currenex.com

 

 

Most Innovative Bank e-FX Trading Platform: Citi

http://www.fxweek.com/fx-week/interview/2464092/most-innovative-bank-e-fx-trading-platform-citi#

 

 

Citi sells its electronic FX platform

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2010/01/04/118946/citi-sells-its-electronic-fx-platform/

 

 

Nasdaq poised to launch FX trading platform: top executive

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nasdaq-forex-idUSKCN0QT1VD20150824

 

 

State Street buys electronic foreign exchange trading platform Currenex

http://www.thetradenews.com/Asset-Classes/Foreign-exchange/State-Street-buys-electronic-foreign-exchange-trading-platform-Currenex/

 

 

EBS

http://www.ebs.com

 

 

Electronic Platforms in Foreign Exchange Trading

http://celent.com/reports/electronic-platforms-foreign-exchange-trading

 

 

HOTSPOT FX

https://www.hotspotfx.com

 

 

Icap’s EBS BrokerTec Inks Deal With China’s CFETS

http://www.waterstechnology.com/sell-side-technology/news/2460560/icaps-ebs-brokertec-inks-deal-with-chinas-cfets

 

 

Best Single-Dealer FX Trading Platform

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/fn-trading-and-technology-awards-shortlist-2015-best-single-dealer-fx-trading-platform-20150810

 

 

Multi-Dealer Platforms to gain ground in 2015

http://www.e-forex.net/articles/apr-2015-multidealer-platforms-to-gain-ground-in-2015.html

 

 

PERSPECTIVE ON NEW ELECTRONIC PLATFORMS, FROM EXECUTION TO DISTRIBUTION

http://fintank.net/position_papers/electronic_platforms/

 

 

FX Trading Platforms: Models Converge and Competition Heats Up

http://celent.com/reports/fx-trading-platforms-models-converge-and-competition-heats

 

 

Trends in Foreign Exchange Markets and the Challenges Ahead

https://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/speeches/2015/pot150714

 

 

Restoring trust in global FX markets

https://www.lmax.com/pdf/restoring-trust-report.pdf

 

 

2016 – Entering the Age of the “Non-Bank”

http://www.financemagnates.com/thought-leadership/prime-of-prime/2016-entering-the-age-of-the-non-bank/

 

 

The New Wall Street: Even Big Banks Want Help Navigating Markets

Matthew Leising and Annie Massa

Aug 10, 2016

http://www.wealthmanagement.com/markets/new-wall-street-even-big-banks-want-help-navigating-markets

 

 

The Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets

An International Perspective

 

http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@aboutcftc/documents/file/tacfuturecomputertrading1012.pdf

 

 

Small Fish Big Prize:  Market Makers out to eat Bank’s lunch

https://www.citadel.com/_files/uploads/2015/12/Small-fish-big-prize-The-Market-makers-out-to-eat-the-banks.pdf

 

 

Automated Trading in Treasury Markets

 

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/microsites/tmpg/files/TMPG%20HFT%20White%20Paper%20FINAL%20-%202015-04-08.pdf

 

 

High Frequency Traders Elbow Their Way Into the Currency Markets

by Lananh Nguyen

September 12, 2016

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-12/fastest-guys-in-stocks-are-becoming-a-force-in-currency-markets

 

 

Exclusive: U.S. investigates market-making operations of Citadel, KCG

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks-probe-exclusive-idUSKCN0Y11CJ

 

 

Considering China’s Renminbi for International Settlement and Forex Trading

By Bill Camarda

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/foreign-exchange/articles/renminbi-for-forex-trading/

 

 

Pound plummet blamed on ‘liquidity holes’

Sterling’s flash crash was triggered during Asian ‘graveyard shift’ when US/European traders away

https://www.ft.com/content/dc7c0846-8e00-11e6-a72e-b428cb934b78

 

 

Settlement risk in foreign exchange markets and CLS Bank

http://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt0212f.pdf

 

 

CLS Bank

https://www.cls-group.com/Pages/default.aspx

Evolving Networks of Regional RTGS Payment and Settlement Systems

Evolving Networks of Regional RTGS Payment and Settlement Systems

 

Globalization has created incentives for nations to form regional economic unions to take advantage of scale and resource pooling.

There are a lot of efforts underway to develop and implement regional RTGS between central banks.  There are several models for integration.

  • Many States, Many Currencies – Hong Kong SAR
  • Many States, Single Currency – EU uses EURO and Central America uses USD, SADC uses South African RAND

RTGS systems designed to facilitate such economic integration.

  • RTGS – RTGS – Interlink model – Hong Kong, ASEAN 5
  • RTGS-RTGS – SSP Single Shared Platform model – EU

 

 

 

From  Payment System Interoperability and Oversight: The International Dimension

Several factors may prompt the international interlinking of PSIs. In most cases, linking national PSIs to achieve international interoperability of certain payment services comes from a country’s decisions to exploit the benefits of international economic and financial integration (i.e., greater international trade and investment activities, attraction of foreign investment capital, risk diversification, and deepening and broadening domestic financial and capital markets), since integration requires economic units to have convenient access to cross-border payment service facilities. A powerful driver to regional PSI interlinking is constituted by the political agreements among countries in a region on a broad, long-term economic and financial development cooperative program. Usually, in this case, the efforts to link payment system (as well as other financial market) infrastructures are supported actively by a core group of countries in organized regional development policy and planning forums.5 In some cases, interlinking may result from decisions by national financial authorities to address the demand from market participants (and/or their customers, including asset managers, other securities servicers, and other types of businesses) for cross-border access to international markets at lower end-to-end transaction costs.

Cross-border transactions can be made possible by establishing bilateral links between national PSIs.8 Perhaps the simplest form of PSI interlinking is achieved when two central banks agree on a scheme to support or facilitate cross-border transactions. This likely requires linking the large-value transfer systems of the countries involved by developing technical interfaces between them. Some other solutions are possible which link national payment systems through central bank bilateral accounts, whereby participating central banks hold settlement accounts either with one another or with a common commercial bank.

More advanced solutions for PSI interlinking are characterized by the adoption of a unified scheme and a common technical-operational facility to process the transactions defined under the scheme. The common (regional or global) technical-operational facility follows one of two basic architectures: the decentralized model, or the single or fully centralized model. Arrangements adopting a decentralized model for regional, cross-regional and/or global payments link existing national settlement systems (Figure 1). These normally feature different degrees of sophistication and complexity. Most decentralized regional payment systems are designed in a “hub-spoke” structure, in which there is a central administrative and technical-operational facility referred to as the “hub entity”, which links the participating systems.9 The interlinking mechanism is usually a standardized messaging and connectivity technology, which links account management and the various national operating systems together, while participants access the hub entity through the national settlement infrastructure of their jurisdiction.

In the centralized platform model, the national payment system infrastructures are replaced by a single international system (Figure 2). In this case, it is more appropriate to talk about international payment system integration. Participants access the system directly through the relevant telecommunications network or indirectly through any direct participant in the system. Centralized platforms are mostly identified with international integration projects, most notably regional, which have evolved into monetary unions with the use of a regional currency. They minimize or even eliminate the distinction between cross-border and domestic payments, and allow for processing both types of transactions in the same system seamlessly.

Various examples illustrate the different technical modalities of interlinking discussed above. One example of bilateral links between national payment systems is the linking of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s U.S. dollar real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system with the RTGS systems of other central banks in the region, specifically Bank Negara Malaysia’s RENTAS and Bank Indonesia’s BI-RTGS. These systems operate on a common operating platform. Their links, which are independent from each other, allow payment-versus-payment settlement between the national currencies of those countries and the U.S. dollar. Other illustrative examples are the East African Payments System (EAPS), which shows the case of national payment systems linked through the holding of bilateral accounts among central banks, and the Sistema de Pagos en Moneda Local involving the national RTGS systems of Argentina and Brazil, which is an example of the national payment systems linked through their respective central banks which hold settlement accounts with a common commercial bank. Currently, two SML systems are operational: one linking the RTGS systems of Argentina and Brazil, and other linking the RTGS systems of Brazil and Uruguay.

Other cases exemplify the decentralized and centralized models of international payment system integration. Schemes with a decentralized settlement system involving multiple parties have been developed in regions where there is a regional currency, as well as for settling cross-border payments denominated in a single foreign currency. The most well-known example of a unified scheme with a decentralized settlement system for a regional currency was the original TARGET in Europe, which linked the Euro RTGS systems of EU national central banks. Another example is the Sistema de Interconexión de Pagos in Central America and the Dominican Republic, which uses a decentralized architecture for settling cross-border payments in U.S. dollars.11

With regard to the centralized model of PSI interlinking (or integration), relevant examples are TARGET2 and EURO1 supporting euro denominated payments in the European Union,12 the STAR-UEMOA for the West African CFA Franc throughout the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and the RTGS system of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) for the EC dollar in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Over the past decade, centralized payment system infrastructures have also been developed regionally, where no regional currency existed, to facilitate settlement of domestic, regional, and cross-regional payments in more than one settlement currency (e.g., RAPID in the United Arab Emirates, and CHATS in Hong Kong). Finally, an example of a unified global system for settlements denominated in multiple currencies is CLS Bank International, which links the national RTGS systems of the participating jurisdictions/currencies, with a strong reliance on the legal agreement of the rulebook and the technical standards.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional payment integration project in the Southern African region captures aspects of a centralized model. The project develops on the International Payments Framework (IPF) concept to construct a regional payment infrastructure composed of a regional automated clearing house (ACH) and settlement system.14 The current architecture consists of the SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS), an electronic central system that facilitates cross border trade in the SADC region. SIRESS, and excludes domestic inter-bank payments and settlements. It allows participating banks to settle regional transactions denominated in South African Rand (ZAR) within SADC countries, on an RTGS basis. The system is operated by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on behalf of the SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors, with SARB also acting as the ZAR settlement bank. It is a safe and efficient payment/settlement system which reduces the cost to banks since there is no correspondent bank (intermediary) involved.15 The project should eventually evolve into a single regional payment settlement infrastructure, in tandem with the planned monetary union.

The prototypal regional systems for retail payments were multilateral arrangements governed by service agreements and operational protocols of limited standardization between participating banks in different countries. For example, TIPANET, which was designed as a cross-border retail payment service for credit transfers between cooperative banks in Europe and Canada, provided participating members with somewhat lower cost and faster payment delivery than the usual correspondent banking arrangements of that time.16 The widespread growth of credit and debit card payment schemes since the late 1980s provided a second wave of regional and crossregional PSI linkages and integration.

Some regional cross-border arrangements have developed across direct (horizontal) linkages between national schemes. This is the case of the arrangement linking the Interac debit card system in Canada, the NYCE Payments Network and PULSE systems in the United States, and Union Pay in China for access by the schemes’ cardholders to the cross-border debit and ATM networks. Global card payment schemes such as VISA and MasterCard provide cross-border interoperability in transaction systems for credit and debit payments and ATM cash withdrawals for cardholders and (vertical) integration of these systems with proprietary clearing and settlement systems. As global card payment schemes, they deal with domestic, regional, and cross-regional payments.17

Regional and cross-regional interlinking of national and funds transfer systems in general is a fairly recent development. Some, such as EBA Clearings’ STEP2 in Europe and SICA-UMEOA in the West African Monetary and Economic Union, are single regional schemes and systems for both domestic and cross-border payments among member countries using the euro and the CFA franc, respectively. Others are generally constructed through (horizontal) bilateral linkages between national ACHs. These linkages allow the ACH members in one country to transmit customer payments, typically via credit transfers, to end-receivers holding accounts with ACH members in other countries. The network architecture for regionally or cross-regionally linked payment clearing infrastructure and for single regional ACHs can be either a hub-spoke arrangement with a central hub connection, a centralized network structure, or a distributed bilateral network structure, which contemplates the operation of large providers of payment clearing and processing services (Box 1). Another example, in Europe, is the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) scheme compliant clearing and settlement mechanisms (CSMs). Services offered by competing CSMs, based on the SEPA payment schemes, are governed by market forces and are outside the remit of the European Payments Council (EPC). The EU regulation provides that, within the EU, a PSP reachable for a national euro credit transfer or direct debit shall be reachable for euro credit transfers or direct debits initiated through a PSP located in any member state. Any PSP participating in any of the EPC SEPA Schemes (SEPA Credit Transfer, SEPA Direct Debit), under the relevant scheme adherence agreement with the EPC and the relevant EPC SEPA Scheme Rulebook, is permanently obligated to comply with reachability from its readiness date. Each PSP needs to determine how to achieve full reachability for the EPC SEPA Scheme(s) it has adhered to. There are several ways for PSPs to send and receive euro payment transactions to and from other PSPs across SEPA. PSPs can choose and use any solution or combination of solutions, directly or indirectly, as long as reachability and compliance with the EPC SEPA Schemes are effectively ensured.

 

Main Regions with Regional RTGS Systems

  • EU TARGET2
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • West Africa – WAMZ
  • East Africa – EAPS
  • South Africa (SADC) – SIRESS
  • ASEAN AEC – ASEAN 5 RTGS
  • Central America – USD based RTGS – SIP

 

crossbor3crossbor4

 

Europe TARGET2 

Since the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1958 there has been a progressive movement towards a more integrated European financial market. This movement has been marked by several events. In the field of payments, the most visible were the launch of the euro in 1999 and the cash changeover in the euro area countries in 2002.
The establishment of the large-value central bank payment system TARGET was less visible, but also of great importance. It formed an integral part of the introduction of the euro and facilitated the rapid integration of the euro area money market.
A unique feature of TARGET2 is the fact that its payment services in euro are available across a geographical area which is larger than the euro area. National central banks which have not yet adopted the euro also have the option to participate in TARGET2 to facilitate the settlement of transactions in euro. When new Member States join the euro area the participation in TARGET2 becomes mandatory. The use of TARGET2 is mandatory for the settlement of any euro operations involving the Eurosystem.
As of February 2016, 25 central banks of the EU and their respective user communities are participating in, or connected to, TARGET2:
The 20 euro area central banks (including the ECB) and
five central banks from non-euro area countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Romania.

 

 

 

Hong Kong RTGS System

System Links

Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure is designed to cater for cross-border as well as domestic economic activities. Links with payment systems and debt securities systems in other economies provide an easily accessible payment and settlement platform for cross-border economic transactions and financial intermediation.

Payment Links

Links with Guangdong (including Shenzhen) – Launched in phases since January 1998, these links cover cross-border RTGS payments in Hong Kong dollars and US dollars, and cheque clearing in Hong Kong dollars, US dollars and renminbi, with Guangdong Province including Shenzhen.1 The use of these links, which helps expedite payments and remittances between Hong Kong and Guangdong, has been rising gradually with the increasing economic integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

Cross-border payment arrangements with Mainland – Cross-border payment arrangements involving the Mainland’s Domestic Foreign Currency Payment System were established in March 2009 to facilitate foreign currency funding and liquidity management of Mainland banks and commercial payments. The cross-border payment arrangements currently cover four currencies – the Hong Kong dollar, US dollar, euro and British pound.

Link with Macau – The one-way joint clearing facility for Hong Kong dollar and US dollar cheques between Hong Kong and Macau was launched in August 2007 and June 2008 respectively, reducing the time required for clearing Hong Kong dollar and US dollar cheques drawn on banks in Hong Kong and presented in Macau from four or five days to two.

Link with Malaysia – A link between the Ringgit RTGS system in Malaysia (the RENTAS system) and the US dollar RTGS system in Hong Kong came into operation in November 2006. The link helps eliminate settlement risk by enabling PvP settlements of foreign exchange transactions in ringgit and US dollars during Malaysian and Hong Kong business hours. This is the first cross-border PvP link between two RTGS systems in the region.

Link with Indonesia – The PvP link between Hong Kong’s US dollar RTGS system and Indonesia’s Rupiah RTGS system was launched in January 2010. The link helps eliminate settlement risk by enabling PvP settlements of foreign exchange transactions in Rupiah and US dollars during Indonesian and Hong Kong business hours.

Link with the Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) system – The CLS system, operated by CLS Bank International, is a global clearing and settlement system for cross-border foreign exchange transactions. It removes settlement risk in these transactions by settling them on a PvP basis. The Hong Kong dollar joined the CLS system in 2004.

Regional CHATS – This is an extension of the RTGS systems in Hong Kong in the regional context. Regional payments in Hong Kong dollars, US dollars, euros and renminbi can use the RTGS platform in Hong Kong to facilitate cross border/cross bank transfers in those currencies.

Link with Thailand

In 2014, Hong Kong started operating PvP link between HK’s US dollar RTGS system and Thailand’s BAHT RTGS system.

 

regionalrtgs

 

 

US FEDWIRE RTGS System

This is surprisingly subtle.

When, for instance, when bank A in the Richmond Federal Reserve district sends $1000 in reserves to bank B in the Minneapolis Federal Reserve district, reserves are taken out of bank A’s account at the Richmond Fed and placed into bank B’s account at the Minneapolis Fed.

Now, bank A’s reserves are a liability on the books of the Richmond Fed, while bank B’s reserves are a liability on the books of the Minneapolis Fed. Without any offsetting change, therefore, the process would result in the Richmond Fed discharging a liability and the Minneapolis Fed gaining a liability – and if this continued, regional Fed assets and liabilities could become highly mismatched.

The principle, then, is that there should be an offsetting swap of assets. It would be too complicated to swap actual assets every time there is a flow of reserves between banks in different districts. (There’s over $3 trillion in transactions every day on Fedwire, the Fed’s RTGS system – and if even a fraction of those are between different districts, the amounts are really enormous.) Instead, in the short run the regional Feds swap accounting entries in an “Interdistrict Settlement Account” (ISA). In the example above, the Minneapolis Fed’s ISA position would increase by $1000, while the Richmond Fed’s ISA position would decrease by $1000, to offset the transfer of liabilities.

So far, this is all very similar to the controversial TARGET2 system in the Euro area, in which large balances between national banks have recently been accumulating. The American system is different, however, because ISA entries are eventually settled via transfers of assets. Every April, the average ISA balance for each regional Fed over the past year is calculated, and this portion of the balance is settled via a transfer of assets in the System Open Market Account (the main pile of Fed assets, run by the New York Fed). Hence, if in April the Minneapolis Fed has an ISA balance of +$500, but over the past year it had an average balance of +$2000, its balance is decreased (by $2000) to -$1500, and it has an offsetting gain of $2000 in SOMA assets.

As this example shows, since it is average balances over the past year that are settled, not the current balances, ISA balances do not necessarily go to zero every April. Historically, they were fairly tiny anyway, but since QE brought dramatic increases in reserves, these balances have sometimes been large and irregular. In the long run, though, the system prevents any persistent imbalances from accumulating.

(Note: the process in April is a little bit more complicated than I describe, since some minor transfers of gold certificate holdings are also involved. Basically, gold certificates are transferred between regional Feds to maintain a constant ratio of gold certificates to federal reserve notes; the transfers of SOMA assets are adjusted to account for this. Wolman’s recent piece for the Richmond Fed is one of the few sources that describes the system in detail.)

 

Twelve Districts of Federal Reserves

Federal Reserve Banks

  • Boston
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Cleaveland
  • Richmond
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • St. Louis
  • Minneapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Dallas
  • St. Francisco

Structure of Federal Reserve

Inter district Settlement Account Balances

 

 

East African Community

EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project (EAC-PSSIP)

 

The East African Community Secretariat has received financing from the African Development Fund (ADF) toward the cost of the establishment of EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project (EAC- PSSIP) and intends to apply part of the agreed amount for this grant to payments under the contract for Audit Services for the EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project (EAC-PSSIP).

The EAC-PSSIP is an integral part of the EAC Financial Sector Development and Regionalisation Project’s (FSDRP) higher objective of broadening and deepening the financial sector and is aimed at complementing the integration of the regional financial market infrastructure to facilitate the undertaking of cross border funds transfer in support of the economies of the region as a whole. The project objective is to contribute to the modernization, harmonization and regional integration of payment and settlement systems.

The project specifically aims at: enhancing convergence and regional integration of payment and settlement systems; and strengthening a harmonized legislative and regulatory financial sector capacity in the Partner States. The Project is structured under the following components: Component 1: Integration of Financial Market Infrastructure; Component 2: Harmonization of Financial Laws and Regulations; and Component 3: Capacity Building.

The project commenced its operation in January, 2014 and it was officially launched in March, 2014.

Towards A Single Currency

The latest development is the 2013 Monetary Union protocol, which sets out the terms for the introduction of a single currency by 2024. The IMF has stated that greater integration is “expected to help sustain strong economic growth and improve economic efficiency. A larger regional market will lead to economies of scale, lower transaction costs, increased competition, and greater attractiveness as a destination for FDI.” The first step towards this goal has already been taken. In May 2014 the East African Payment System (EAPS) was launched. The new system will facilitate real-time cross-border payments between member states. Initially, the EAPS was operational between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, linking the Tanzania Interbank Settlement System, the Kenya Electronic Payment and Settlement System, and the Uganda National Interbank Settlement. Lucy Kinunda, director of national payment systems at the Tanzanian central bank, told the local press, “We see the enthusiasm among commercial banks and traders building up as it facilitates intra-regional trade by reducing costs and risks in money transfers across border.”

While there is much expectation for the single currency and the political and economic integration it will bring, the main challenge will be the process of macroeconomic convergence. There has been substantial variation in inflation and economic growth rates within the EAC. For Kenya, there will also be a challenge in meeting the macroeconomic criteria laid out in the Monetary Union Protocol. In the decade to the end of 2013, Kenya only achieved the inflation target of below 8% in 2010 and 2013. The country fares better on the ratio of public debt to GDP, maintaining a ratio below the target level of 50% every year between 2008 and 2013. The member states have almost a decade to meet the convergence criteria.

 

Member States

  • Burundi
  • Kenya
  • Rawanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

 

 

 

SADC – Southern African Development Community – uses RAND as settlement Currency

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) aims to achieve economic development, peace and security, alleviate poverty, and enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa through regional integration. Current status In order to achieve the above objective, a comprehensive development and implementation framework – the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) – was formulated in 2001 guiding the regional integration over a period of fi fteen years (2005-2020). The RISDFP outlines key integration milestones in fi ve areas: free trade area, customs union, common market, monetary union and single currency. The free trade area was achieved in August 2008, meaning that for 85% of intra-regional trade there is zero duty. The second milestone, to establish a customs union, has been postponed, with a new target date of sometime in 2013. Although the ultimate goal of monetary union with a single currency is several years away, the SADC Payment System integration project is already in motion. This has strategic objectives to: harmonise legal and regulatory frameworks to facilitate regional clearing and settlement arrangements; implement an integrated regional cross-border payment settlement infrastructure; and establish a co-operative oversight arrangement based on the harmonised regulatory framework. The first phase of the cross-border payment settlement infrastructure (SIRESS) went live for the Common Monetary Area countries that use the South African rand (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) in July 2013. The new system allows the settlement of payment transactions in a central location using rand as the common settlement currency. Next steps – towards an Economic Union If successful, the new system will be rolled out to the rest of the SADC Member States as the region advances towards its eventual establishment as an economic union. In parallel, the immediate next step is the establishment of the SADC customs union, which presents a number of challenges; the major one is the establishment of a single Common External Tariff, which requires convergence of all individual tariff policies into a single and uniform tariff regime.

The first stage of the Sadc Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS), being the first go-live involving countries in the Common Monetary Area (CMA) namely Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, was initiated in July 2013. Phase Two involved Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe going live in April 2014 followed by Mauritius and Zambia which went live in September 2014 under Phase Three. Since the launch of Siress, 43% of payments in the Sadc region are now executed through the system, which settles payments in South African rand. By April 2015 Siress had reached the ZAR1 trillion (US$85,1 billion) settlement mark. This phenomenal growth of Siress is emblematic of the growing importance and influence of regional payment systems in general, the rationale of which is the subject of this article.

 

Member States

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Congo
  • Lesotho
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

As of 2015, 9 out of the 15 countries have joined the RTGS system.

  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Namibia
  • Mauritius
  • Soth Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

 

sadc_member_states_lowres

 

 

 

ECOWAS – West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’ Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) provided the blueprint for the economic integration of the countries of West Africa. Amongst other measures, the EMCP called for the creation of a single monetary zone in the sub-regions known as the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). The WAMZ was created in April 2000 with the goal to establish an economic and monetary union of the member countries. In 2001, WAMZ created the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) to undertake preparatory activities for the establishment of the West African Central Bank (WACB), and the launching of a monetary union for the Zone. The WAMZ programme aims to increase trade among the ECOWAS/WAMZ member countries, reduce transaction costs for the users of payment systems, domesticate cross-border transactions within the WAMZ through the use of a single currency, develop safe, secure and effi cient payment systems that conform to global standards and build a payment system that will facilitate monetary policy management for the WACB.

Ahead of the establishment of the WACB, having a modernised, safe and stable financial infrastructure in place is a prerequisite to introduce a monetary union successfully. To this effect, a grant of about USD 30 million from African Development Bank Fund was approved for the WAMZ Payments System Development Project, which aims to improve the basic infrastructure of the fi nancial sector through upgrade of the payment systems of our countries – The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Lone and Liberia. The system components of the project include Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, Automated Clearing House (ACH) / Automated Cheque Processing (ACP) systems, Central Securities Depository (CSD) / Scripless Securities Settlement (SSS) systems, Core Banking Application (CBA) system and infrastructure upgrade (telecommunication and energy). The Gambia’s high-value payment system went live in July 2012 and Sierra Leone is currently going through the implementation. The target date of the project completion in all four countries is June 2014.

Member States

  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Sierra Leone
  • Liberia

 

 

 

COMESA – Common Market for East and Southern Africa

The COMESA launched the COMESA Customs Union in 2009 and the COMESA Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS) to facilitate crossborder payment and settlement between Central Banks in the COMESA region. The new system provides a single gateway for Central Banks within the region to effect payment and settlement of trades.

Member States

Burundi, Comoros, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

 

 

 

ECOWAS – WAEMU/UEMOA – West African Economic and Monetary Union

created as a single monetary zone is the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) / Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA). The WAEMU was established to promote economic integration among member countries and a common market that share West African francs (CFA francs) as a common currency, monetary policies, and French as an official language. It is a trade zone agreement to encourage internal development, improve trade, establish uniform tariffs for goods, establish a regional stock exchange and a regional banking system.

The UEMOA/WAEMU has successfully implemented macro-economic convergence criteria and an effective surveillance mechanism; adopted a customs union and common external tariff; and combined indirect taxation regulations, in addition to initiating regional structural and sectoral policies. Uniquely amongst Africa’s regionalisation projects, UEMOA/WAEMU has a single central bank, Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO), which governs all of the fi nancial institutions across the Union. As part of the project for modernisation of the payment and financial infrastructure, the BCEAO launched a regional Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system in 2004 and the regional Automated Clearing House (ACH) system in 2008.

Member States

Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo

 

 

 

Central America

SIP — A NEW INTEGRATED REGIONAL PAYMENT SYSTEM

  • Guatemala
  • Costa Rica
  • Honduras
  • El Salvador
  • Nicaragua
  • Dominican Republic

Uses US Dollar as settlement Currency.

mapasip

 

The SIP is a novel framework in the Americas, with several elements that dis- tinguish it from other cross-border arrangements: it involves participants in various countries, allows for payment flows in all directions among participants, uses an RTGS concept for its ‘hub’ and interlinks exclusively central bank RTGS systems, not ACHs, and uses a foreign currency for its settlement accounts.

There may certainly be some doubts as to whether the degree of existing commercial integration among the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic will suffice to make SIP a commercially viable proposition.

But one can see the SIP as part of a wider initiative which seeks to develop the financial infrastructure with a view to furthering a regional financial market. The SIP will be an integral part of the local payment systems of CMCA member countries and, as such, will widen the coverage of available services to the benefit of participants of the national payment systems. Furthermore, the SIP could act as a direct stimulus for those banks that operate in only one of the member countries to offer affordable cross-border payment services to its clients and thus assist in the strengthening of regional financial integration.

 

 

Asia – South East Asia – ASEAN 5

Payment issues: Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi (second right), accompanied by Artajasa president director Arya Damar (right), inspects a booth during the Integrated Payment System seminar in Jakarta on Wednesday. The seminar aimed at informing business players about the integrated payment system ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. (Antara/Prasetyo Utomo)

Bank Indonesia (BI) is currently developing tools to create a more time-efficient and low-cost payment system ahead of the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, when there will be a free flow of goods, services and people among ASEAN member countries.

‘€œWe are working to develop a more integrated national payment system before having an integrated payment system within the ASEAN region,’€ BI payment system executive director Rosmaya Hadi said at a seminar held by electronic payment service provider PT Artajasa Pembayaran Elektronik on Wednesday.

With the new system, the Indonesian banking industry will have a new real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) in which bank customers can carry out multi currency transactions on a real-time basis, she said.

‘€œWith this system, a bank customer can carry out multicurrency transactions in only minutes through non-cash payments,’€ she said, adding that BI would launch the new system this year.

Rosmaya also said the Indonesian central bank and its counterparts in five ASEAN members, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, had agreed to prepare for an integrated payment system.

‘€œCentral banks of the ASEAN 5 have formed task forces on trade settlements, retail payments, monthly remittances, capital market settlements and standardization to formulate a set of regulations and schemes with which we will have an ASEAN integrated payment system,’€ she said.

Under the regional integrated payment system, people in ASEAN will be able to make financial transactions through ATMs, credit cards or electronic money without sacrificing much time and money.

According to a report by the ASEAN Working Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (WC-PSS), the integrated payment system will reduce bank charges (such as foreign exchange spread among ASEAN currencies and handling fees), and encourage regulated non-bank remittance service providers to adopt international/common standards in retail payment systems.

Of all the ASEAN member countries, only Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand currently have full ATM interoperability, according to an Asian Development Bank Institute report published in 2013.

‘€œWhen the AEC commences, ASEAN member countries will have greater need for an integrated payment system as people from across the region will have to carry out transactions from and to their home countries,’€ said Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi at a similar event.

The AEC, also known as the ASEAN single market, will commence at the end of 2015. Under the AEC, the ASEAN 5 and Brunei Darussalam will have free trade agreements, while Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam will fully participate in the community in 2018.

Artajasa president director Arya Damar said that Indonesia should also develop its banking sector to tap its large market by utilizing more cashless transactions, otherwise other ASEAN countries’€™ banks would do so.

Citing BI data, Artajasa said that with a total of 800,000 local branches, commercial banks in Indonesia could reach only 20 percent of the total working-age population of around 150 million people.

‘€œMeanwhile, with only 15,000 ATMs, Malaysian commercial banks can reach 66 percent of its total working-age population,’€ he said.

Thai commercial banks, with around 66,000 ATMs, can reach about 30 percent of Of Thailand’€™s total working-age population, he added. (koi)

 

SINGAPORE – The five largest members of ASEAN – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand – have agreed to implement an integrated payment system to enable real time gross settlement (RTGS) systems to be in effect by next year.

“With this system, a bank customer can carry out multi-currency transactions in minutes through non-cash payments,” said Rosmaya Hadi with Bank Indonesia.

The ASEAN 5 Central Banks are currently working on establishing protocols for intra-trade settlement, retail payments, monthly remittances, capital market settlements and standardization to enable the system to be up and running by the time the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) unification occurs next January.

“When the AEC commences, ASEAN member countries will have greater need for an integrated payment system as people from across the region will have to carry out transactions from and to their home countries,” according to Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi.

Under the system, individual users across ASEAN will be able to make financial payments through ATMs, credit cards, or electronic money without spending a significant amount of time or money doing so. As ASEAN currently has no plan to establish a unified currency, this program is expected to increase multi-currency transactions.

ASEAN members are also developing their ATM networks; Indonesia, for example, has an ATM reach of 20 percent of its total working population of 150 million, compared with 66 per cent for Malaysia.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are currently the only ASEAN members to have full ATM integration according to the Asian Development Bank. This will soon change as the other ASEAN member nations work towards greater integration.

Member States

Indonesia, Thailand, Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam in 2015

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to join in 2018

 

 

 

ASEAN +3 Cross Border Infrastructure

In Delhi in May 2013, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, and the Republic of Korea—collectively known as ASEAN+3—agreed to set up a Cross-Border Settlement Infrastructure Forum (CSIF) to discuss detailed work plans and related processes for the improvement of cross-border settlement in the region, which included the possibility of establishing a regional settlement intermediary (RSI). Members, observers, and the CSIF Secretariat are listed in Appendix 1.

Based on the intensive discussions among CSIF members, the first report, Basic Principles on Establishing a Regional Settlement Intermediary and Next Steps Forward, was published by the Asian Development Bank in May 2014 after being endorsed by the ASEAN+3 finance ministers and Central Bank governors at their 17th meeting held in May 2014 in Astana. The members agreed that the central securities depository (CSD)–real-time gross settlement (RTGS) linkages, which connect national CSD systems and RTGS systems in a flexible

way, would be an achievable model for cross-border settlement infrastructure in the short term and medium term. This model linking existing infrastructure enables local bonds to be settled in delivery versus payment (DVP) via central bank money, which ensures the safety of settlement and is compliant with international standards, as well as being cost- efficient. As such, the CSD–RTGS linkages are to be studied as the most feasible model for implementing the RSI in ASEAN+3.

The Joint Statement of the 17th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting reads as follows:

We welcomed the recommendations submitted by the Cross-Border Settlement Infrastructure Forum (CSIF) and the direction of developing the implementation roadmap of CSD-RTGS linkages as short-term and medium-term goals and integrated solution as a long-term goal for making it possible to deliver securities smoothly and safely versus payment across borders. We are of the view that this is a practical and efficient approach to advance regional settlement infrastructure that promotes cross-border securities transactions in the region.

The 4th and 5th CSIF meetings were held in Hong Kong, China (September 2014) and Manila (January 2015), respectively. Specific topics to develop an implementation plan for the CSD–RTGS linkages—such as a desktop study, possible road map—were discussed at these meetings. As an initial step, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) agreed to conduct a desktop study.

 

 

Regional Integration in South Asia:  BIMSTEC, SAARC, SAPTA, SAFTA

 

January 1, 2016, marked the tenth anniversary of the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta). The agreement, which was reached in January 2004 at the 12th Saarc Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, came into force on January 1, 2006, and became operational after the agreement was ratified by seven nations (Afghanistan, the eighth member, ratified it in May 2011).

It created a free trade area for the people of eight South Asian nations and aimed at reducing custom duties of all traded goods to zero by 2016.  That year is here but the South Asian nations see trade among them making up a meagre five per cent of their total transactions.

The purpose of Safta was to promote common contract among the member-nations and provide them with equitable benefits. It also aimed at increasing the level of cooperation in economy and trade among the Saarc nations by lowering the tariff and barriers and give special preference to the least developed countries in the Saarc region.

Safta had a potential

At a time when regional trade blocs and free trade area have emerged as models of cooperative economic growth, the Safta had offered a great opportunity to take forward the process of South Asian integration.

But South Asia has too much problems

But South Asia is a unique regional entity in the entire world. It is a region which has remained a prisoner of the past and pressing geopolitical realities involving India, Pakistan and China.

Thanks to the relentless rivalry between India and Pakistan and the latter’s proximity to the Chinese who have included the strategy of containing India in its scheme of things in South Asia, the idea of integration of South Asia in other forms have remained elusive.
Other smaller countries like Nepal, Bengladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka, too, have played the China card against India time and again, hurting the prospects of mutual confidence.

In such an atmosphere of suspicion, achieving what the Safta had envisioned a decade back has been next to impossible. Despite a free trade pact since 2006, trade among South Asian nations makes up five percent of their total trade. They share few transport and power connections between them.

We saw how Saarc fell apart at its 2014 summit

We saw how the Saarc was split during the 18th summit held in Kathmandu in 2014 end when India and Nepal accused Pakistan of creating an obstacle on the way of regional integration by refusing to sign three multilateral agreements, including road trade and sharing of electricity.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even went to the extent of warning at that time, saying the integration would happen through the Saarc or without it.

He found backing in the Nepali ranks. India then went ahead with ties (visa, energy, road) with other neighbours like Nepal and Bangladesh and also promised to cut its trade surplus with the South Asian nations. But in all, Modi expressed displeasure that the progress was too slow.

Despite the presence of instruments like Safta and Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation), South Asia has only languished. The state of affairs in connectivity, financial infrastructure including banking and mobility of people and goods have remained stuck in the complex cobweb of customs, visa and transit norms.

India, too, is responsible for the poor state of affairs

India, being the largest nation in South Asia, has been equally guilty by not attaching much significance to the forum in the past, as it did in nurturing relation with the West and Russia. There has been a sheer lack of continuity in the country’s successive governments’ priorities towards South Asia.

For most, a combative policy towards Pakistan and dominating approach towards the smaller neighbours have been the most-after stand. No wonder, opportunities like Safta were lost without a trace.

Can Narendra Modi govt turn the tables around?

However, the Narendra Modi regime has attached much importance to the issue of South Asian integration which is a silver lining. The way India’s PM invited all South Asian heads of states or representatives to his swearing-in ceremony or kicked off his foreign tours with visits to small states like Bhutan and Nepal or suddenly landed in Lahore to reach out to his Pakistani counterpart-all these suggest that his government aspires to see a better surroundings.

Yes, there have been a serious goof-up by India’s foreign-policy makers in Nepal in the wake of its ratifying a new constitution, which has left the Himalayan neighbour distraught, but yet going by PM Modi’s general intent of improving the state of South Asian cooperation, the decade-old Safta could still have a future.

As of now, the wait will be for the 19th Saarc summit in Islamabad later this year.

 

Towards South Asia Economic Integration

Payment systems to facilitate South Asian integration

SAARC Payment Initiative

Asian Clearing Union

A review of the Asian Clearing Union

 

 

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

TARGET2

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/paym/t2/shared/pdf/professionals/SIBOS_13_Target2_HQ.pdf?ddee08326301ecfe43123f036ade4322

 

 

 

Regional Monetary Co-operation in the Developing World Taking Stock

Barbara Fritz / Laurissa Mühlich

2014

http://www.lai.fu-berlin.de/homepages/fritz/publikationen/Paper-Stocktaking-Regional-Monetary-Cooperation-Fritz-Muehlich-22-07-14-end.pdf

 

 

 

 

Redefining the Landscape of Payment Systems

Summary of Proceedings of the World Bank Conference

2009

 

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/728251468192564101/pdf/705740ESW0P1100Cape0Town0April02009.pdf

 

 

 

PAYMENT SYSTEMS TO FACILITATE SOUTH ASIAN INTRA- REGIONAL TRADE

Ashima Goyal

September 2014

 

http://www.unescap.org/sites/default/files/Development%20Paper_1403.pdf

 

 

 

 

Regional Integration and Economic Development in South Asia

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/29871/regional-integration-economic-development-south-asia.pdf

 

 

 

Creating an Association of Southeast Asian Nations Payment System: Policy and Regulatory Issues

Tanai Khiaonarong

No. 422 May 2013

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/156277/adbi-wp422.pdf

 

 

 

 

BASIC PRINCIPLES ON ESTABLISHING A REGIONAL SETTLEMENT INTERMEDIARY AND NEXT STEPS FORWARD

CROSS-BORDER SETTLEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM

ADB

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/42051/establishing-regional-settlement.pdf

 

 

 

PAYMENT AND SECURITIES SETTLEMENT SYSTEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

MASSIMO CIRASINO AND MARCO NICOLÌ

JUNE 2010

 

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTMNAREGTOPPOVRED/Resources/MENAFlagshipPaymentsandSettlementsSystems12_20_10.pdf

 

 

 

HKMA RTGS System Links

 

http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-functions/international-financial-centre/infrastructure/system-links.shtml

 

 

 

Payments Systems and Intra African Trade

 

http://www.mcli.co.za/mcli-web/downloads/ARIA4/chap8.pdf

 

 

 

Africa Payments: Insights into African transaction flows

SWIFT

 

 

 

PAYMENT SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT IN THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY ZONE (WAMZ)

BY TEMITOPE W. OSHIKOYA

 

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPAYMENTREMMITTANCE/Resources/1942948-1240426938633/Temitope_WOshikoya.pdf

 

 

 

SADC Regional payments integration Project – Annexure 6

Brian Gei-Khoibeb

 

http://209.88.21.122/documents/899832/1426693/SADC+Regional+Payments+Integration+18+06+2014.pdf/d5228610-a512-4a06-8ef2-03bba1c2be58

 

 

 

CROSS-BORDER LOW VALUE PAYMENTS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION: ENABLERS AND DISABLERS

DR. LEO LIPIS COLIN ADAMS

 

https://www.swiftinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/SWIFT-Institute-Working-Paper-No-2014-005-Cross-border-LVP-Regional-Integration-Lipis_v4-FINAL.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

SADC Payments Project

 

http://www.sadcbanking.org/paymentsproject.aspx

http://www.sadcbanking.org/pdf/SADC_Payments_Project.pdf

 

 

 

The development of a regional payment system in Central America: A step towards further integration and economic development.

Gregor Heinrich and Enrique Garcıa Dubon

2011

 

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/47398/1/MPRA_paper_47398.pdf

 

 

 

Implementing Cross-border Payment, Clearing and Settlement

Systems: Lessons from the Southern African Development Community

 

Albert Mutonga Matongela

 

http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/RJFA/article/viewFile/7798/7942

 

 

 

Payment System Interoperability and Oversight: The International Dimension

 

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/focusgroups/dfs/Documents/10_2016/ITUFGDFS_REPORT%20ON%20Payment%20System%20InteroperabilityandOversightThe%20InternationalDimension-11-2016.pdf

 

 

 

Payment systems to facilitate South Asian integration

2014

 

http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2015-021.pdf

 

 

 

Towards South Asia Economic Union

2015

 

http://ris.org.in/pdf/Towards%20South%20Asia%20Economic%20Union.pdf

 

 

 

RBI suspends euro transactions via Asian Clearing Union

 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/forex/rbi-suspends-euro-transactions-via-asian-clearing-union/articleshow/53001118.cms

 

 

 

Financial Infrastructure in Hong Kong

2013

http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr06-07/english/panels/fa/papers/facb1-657-4-e.pdf

 

 

 

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA––HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

OVERSIGHT AND SUPERVISION OF FINANCIAL MARKET INFRASTRUCTURES–TECHNICAL NOTE

 

IMF Country Report No. 14/208

July 2014

FINANCIAL SECTOR ASSESSMENT PROGRAM

 

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2014/cr14208.pdf

 

 

 

PAYMENT AND SETTLEMENT SYSTEMS

Bonk of Malaysia

 

http://www.bnm.gov.my/files/publication/fsps/en/2010/cp04.pdf

 

 

 

Financial Sector Reforms and Prospects for Financial Integration in Maghreb Countries

Amor Tahari, Patricia Brenner, Erik De Vrijer, Marina Moretti, Abdelhak Senhadji, Gabriel Sensenbrenner, and Juan Solé

 

http://maghrebarabe.org/admin_files/Financial%20sector%20reforms%20IMF.pdf

 

 

 

The Southern African Development Community Integrated Regional Settlement System (SIRESS): What? How? and Why?

 

http://www.centralbank.org.ls/publications/MonthlyEconomicReviews/2013/July%202013%20Economic%20Revivew.pdf

 

 

 

The Payment and Settlement Systems in the Republic of China (Taiwan)

October 2010

 

http://www.cbc.gov.tw/public/Data/010269422971.pdf

 

 

 

PAYMENT SYSTEMS IN JAPAN

 

2010

http://www.zenginkyo.or.jp/fileadmin/res/en/banks/payment-systems/paymentsystems.pdf

 

 

 

The Inefficiencies of Cross-Border Payments: How Current Forces Are Shaping the Future

Written by Yoon S. Park, PHD & DBA, George Washington University

VISA

 

http://euro.ecom.cmu.edu/resources/elibrary/epay/crossborder.pdf

 

 

 

BI prepares for ASEAN integrated payment system

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, January 30, 2014

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/01/30/bi-prepares-asean-integrated-payment-system.html

 

 

 

ASEAN Financial Integration towards ASEAN 2025:

Call for a well-coordinated supervisory and regulatory framework

Satoru (Tomo) Yamadera

 

http://www.uniglobalunion.org/sites/default/files/files/news/4.presentation_by_satoru_yamaders_adb_0.pdf

 

 

 

UK Payments Infrastructure: Exploring Opportunities

31 August 2014

 

https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/research/kpmg-infrastructure-report-for-psr.pdf

 

 

 

Payment Systems in Latin America: Advances and Opportunities

By Nancy Russell, NLRussell Associates

 

http://www.nlrussellassociates.com/pdfs/la_advances.pdf

 

 

 

PROGRESS REPORT ON ESTABLISHING A REGIONAL SETTLEMENT INTERMEDIARY AND NEXT STEPS

Implementing Central Securities Depository–Real-Time Gross Settlement Linkages in ASEAN+3

CROSS-BORDER SETTLEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM

2015

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/158519/progress-report-regional-settlement-intermediary.pdf

 

 

 

ASEAN+3 Information on Transaction Flows and Settlement Infrastructures

ASEAN+3 Bond Market Forum Sub-Forum 2 (ABMF SF2)

December 2013

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/31221/asean3-information-transaction-flows-settlement-infrastructures.pdf

 

 

 

 

BASIC PRINCIPLES ON ESTABLISHING A REGIONAL SETTLEMENT INTERMEDIARY AND NEXT STEPS FORWARD

CROSS-BORDER SETTLEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM

2014

 

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/42051/establishing-regional-settlement.pdf

 

 

 

 

ASIAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION REPORT

WHAT DRIVES FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC?

 

Geert Almekinders, Satoshi Fukuda, Alex Mourmouras, Jianping Zhou and Yong Sarah Zhou

February 2015

 

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2015/wp1534.pdf

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for the Successful Regional Integration of Financial Infrastructures

September, 2013

 

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTFINANCIALSECTOR/Resources/Guidelines_for_the_Successful_Regional_Integration_of_Financia_Infrastructures_DRAFT.pdf

 

 

 

ASEAN 5 Prepares for Integrated Payment System

Posted on January 31, 2014

http://www.aseanbriefing.com/news/2014/01/31/asean-5-prepares-integrated-payment-system.html

 

 

 

Establishing an integrated payment system (real-time gross settlement) in ASEAN

Kusumo Wardhono, Dwi Tjahja

 

http://www.rug.nl/research/portal/files/19296815/Complete_dissertation.pdf

 

 

 

a Practical approach to International Monetary System Reform: Building Settlement Infrastructure for Regional Currencies

Changyong Rhee and Lea Sumulong

 

https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/165598/BRICS_ASIA_no3.pdf

 

 

 

 

Strengthening Financial Infrastructure

Peter J. Morgan and Mario Lamberte

No. 345 February 2012

 

http://www19.iadb.org/intal/intalcdi/PE/2012/09869.pdf

 

 

 

 

Why Complementarity Matters for Stability— Hong Kong SAR and Singapore as Asian Financial Centers

V. Le Leslé, F. Ohnsorge, M. Kim, S. Seshadri

2014

 

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2014/wp14119.pdf

 

 

 

 

Navigating Rise of Global RMB

JP Morgan

https://www.jpmorgan.com/cm/BlobServer/Navigate_the_Rise_of_the_Global_RMB_.pdf?blobkey=id&blobwhere=1320642032360&blobheader=application/pdf&blobheadername1=Cache-Control&blobheadervalue1=private&blobcol=urldata&blobtable=MungoBlobs

 

 

 

Cross-border payment link established with Hong Kong

2014

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/aec/30239651

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong’s role in facilitating the use of Renminbi as a currency for settling international transactions

2010

 

http://www.secmca.org/ACERCA_CMCA/COMITES/CTSP/DocsPrivados/SemanaPagos2010/API/Yip_HK_use_of_RMB_intl_transactions.pdf

 

 

 

 

TARGET2: a global hub for processing payments in euro

ECB

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/paym/intro/news/newsletter/html/mip_qr_1_article_5_target2_global_hub.en.html

 

 

 

THE EAST AFRICAN PAYMENT SYSTEM (EAPS)

 

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/FINANCIALSECTOR/Resources/282044-1260476242691/Bosco_EAPS.pdf

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong and Thailand launch a new cross-border payment-versus-payment link

http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-information/press-releases/2014/20140728-3.shtml

http://www.bis.org/review/r140729c.pdf

 

 

 

Settlement Systems of East Asian Economies

 

http://euro.ecom.cmu.edu/resources/elibrary/epay/Settlement_systems.pdf

 

 

 

 

Payments in ASEAN post AEC

Vengadasalam Venkatachalam, Head of Product Management South East Asia

https://globalconnections.hsbc.com/australia/en/articles/payments-asean-post-aec

 

 

 

 

PSSR – Payments and Settlement Systems Report

https://www.boj.or.jp/en/research/brp/psr/data/psr160624.pdf

 

 

 

 

Payment, clearing and settlement systems in Hong Kong SAR

 

https://www.bis.org/cpmi/publ/d105_hk.pdf

 

 

 

 

Interdependencies of payment and settlement systems: the Hong Kong experience

 

http://www.hkma.gov.hk/media/eng/publication-and-research/quarterly-bulletin/qb200903/fa2_print.pdf

 

 

 

 

Payment Systems

http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-functions/international-financial-centre/infrastructure/payment-systems.shtml

http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-functions/international-financial-centre/infrastructure/financial-infrastructure-hong-kong.shtml

 

 

 

Creating an Integrated Payment System: The Evolution of Fedwire

Adam M. Gilbert, Dara Hunt, and Kenneth C. Winch

https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/epr/97v03n2/9707gilb.pdf

 

 

 

Federal Reserve Interdistrict Settlement

 

https://www.richmondfed.org/~/media/richmondfedorg/publications/research/economic_quarterly/2013/q2/pdf/wolman.pdf

 

 

 

TARGET2 and Central Bank Balance Sheets

Karl Whelan

1 University College Dublin New Draft

March 17, 2013

 

http://www.karlwhelan.com/Papers/T2Paper-March2013.pdf

 

 

 

Ontology and Theory for a Redesign of European Monetary Union

Sheila Dow

 

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b6e2/5935449525f59deca84c16c4dce251122592.pdf

 

 

 

TARGET2: Symptom, Not Cause, of Eurozone Woes

By Thomas A. Lubik and Karl Rhodes

https://www.richmondfed.org/-/media/richmondfedorg/publications/research/economic_brief/2012/pdf/eb_12-08.pdf

 

 

 

The Idiot’s Guide to the Federal Reserve Interdistrict Settlement Account

http://jpkoning.blogspot.com/2012/02/idiots-guide-to-federal-reserve.html

 

 

 

Mutual aSSiStance betWeen Federal reServe bankS

1913-1960 aS ProlegoMena to the target2 debate

Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, Livia Chiţu and Gary Richardson

 

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1686.pdf?1ad840394e67a3aedb6e1b1fa9401431

 

 

 

Interpreting TARGET2 balances

by Stephen G Cecchetti, Robert N McCauley and Patrick M McGuire

Monetary and Economic Department December 2012

 

http://www.bis.org/publ/work393.pdf