Buy-side demands unmet, says survey

Buy-side foreign exchange clients want better service and communication from their sell-side counterparts, according to a survey made public last week.

The survey found more than one third of those polled believed sell-side partners’ knowledge about their firms and their needs was of high importance - more important than fees and sector specialism.

But the survey also found that the majority of those questioned believed the performance on the sell side in this area was well below par.

Another bone of contention revealed in the survey was the lack of savings for the buy side despite massive sell-side investment seen in recent years. Some 60% of those polled said they are not getting a better service as a result of that investment. These findings may ring especially true with foreign exchange market participants, who have this year witnessed the closure of multi-bank trading portal Atriax after an estimated investment of some $200 million from its shareholder banks.

Despite the forward leaps in technology in the trading room and on the desktop in recent years, the survey also found that buy-side players still prefer the telephone as their primary method of communication with their sell-side contacts.

Trading technology firm Syntegra commissioned UK pollsters Mori to question over 100 buy-side participants in the UK and US in April and May this year. Around 50% were in the asset management area, 30% were corporates and the remainder investment banks and brokers. Of those polled, 15% said forex is their highest-volume asset traded.

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