The debate over ‘last look’ in foreign exchange trading has resurfaced in 2016 as regulators continue to eye the practice and investors worry about slippage and potential market abuse. Regulators are said to be scrutinizing FX dealing platforms that contain last look, a controversial practice that enables market makers to delay or reject trades from customers after they’ve agreed to a quoted price.
The SEC’s new proposed rules on transparency in alternative trading systems are going to shine a light on the operations of dark pools, ensuring fair access to information for all market participants.
Change is accelerating in the electronic foreign exchange markets. With the fixing scandal and the currency rigging cases resulting in multi-billion dollar bank fines, investors are choosing a mix of liquidity providers or venues in an FX ecosystem that has become more complex.
The US ecosystem for swap execution facilities continues to evolve, but not as rapidly as regulators and lawmakers anticipated. Despite the shift to electronic trading, some observers question if swaps trading has reached a new equilibrium. The vision of a buy-side trader sitting in front of a screen with the ability to anonymously click on streaming prices from multiple SEFs could be several years away. However, new liquidity providers could be catalysts for change in market structure, suggested speakers at a recent webinar.
The regulatory overhaul of the OTC derivatives market has brought mandatory clearing and electronic trading to standardized swaps, but many say the market structure is stuck, citing regulatory ambiguity and separate liquidity pools.
MiFID II is going to boost transparency in financial markets and improve and broaden best execution standards for the buy side, but not everyone is prepared to handle all the data. While MIFID II standards go into force as of January 3, 2017, buy side market participants have suggested there is not enough time to prepare for the technology changes.