Atriax fall stirs corporates into action

RiskNews's sister publication, FX Week, asked attendees at the Association of Corporate Treasurers event in the UK city of Birmingham, whether they were more likely to trade forex online following the demise of Atriax on April 11. The almost unanimous response from those that were not already trading online was ‘yes’.

Clients had previously reported they were unwilling to choose a multi-bank platform while liquidity was split between Atriax and FXall.

The vast majority of those who intend to start trading online nominated FXall as the potential beneficiary of their business.

“I can see how FXall would link into all our systems,” said Matthew Wagstaff at global networking company 3Com in London. One advantage of multi-bank trading for firms such as 3Com, which trade millions, rather than billions of forex a year, said Wagstaff, is that the transparency enables them to see whether their relationship banks are giving them a good deal. FXall works by offering streaming prices from banks on which users can opt to trade.

“I’m pretty sure we’re not getting the bid-offer spreads we should do. With FXall we could at least monitor what we’re getting,” said Wagstaff. “Then we can go back to our banks and ask them to improve their service.”

The majority of attendees agreed that the most important criterion when selecting which multi-bank platform to trade on is the provision of straight-through processing.

Pricing was also nominated as an important factor. “But after pricing – which is a given – is how easy it is to integrate to other systems,” said 3Com’s Wagstaff. “At the moment the whole FX cycle is rather painful.”

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