Commodity trading houses have banks on the ropes: so what?

Trading houses are definitely on the rise, but risk fears are overdone

Mark Pengelly - Energy Risk
Mark Pengelly

For an industry that's notoriously publicity-shy, commodity trading houses have done a good job of staying in the spotlight in recent years. During that time, there has been a steady shift in commodities. Facing declining revenues, tougher regulation and harsher capital requirements, banks have withdrawn from large chunks of the market, or left it altogether. Meanwhile, trading houses have massively increased their share of activity. If the market were a boxing ring, the picture would be of c