When the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) introduced its new trading rules in 2018, retail brokers had to rethink their strategies due to the more demanding regulatory environment and the corresponding squeeze in profits. In particular, following the Product Intervention Measures, brokers have been looking beyond Europe in order to diversify their client base and maintain volumes.
Liquidity is one of, if not the most important parts of a broker’s business and is one of its key differentiators - without the right pricing in the right products delivered in the right way it is extremely difficult for brokers to survive in this increasingly competitive environment. As a result, the proper assessment and selection of an FX Liquidity Provider is something that brokers should undertake very carefully.
At IS Risk Analytics, we oversee over 1 Trillion USD in notional volume on a monthly basis. This includes startup brokers, established powerhouses and everything in between.Within our client books we see all of the tricks malicious “retail traders” use to take advantage of brokers. This includes cross broker arbitrage, malicious Expert Advisors (EAs), spraying the market, spoofing, the list goes on.
When I sat on a panel at the FX Week conference in London alongside representatives from industry peers, we were all asked “how does the cost of your service compare to the cost of a Tier 1 PB?” The response of our peers was unanimous and astonishing, all of them stating that their service will be “a little more expensive” than a Tier 1 PB.
Imagine the situation… you are sitting on the trading desk reviewing activity for the day and you come across a pocket of traders who were able to arbitrage your feed systematically. It has been a few hours since the transactions took place. The traders have already transferred the profits to linked accounts which have since withdrawn the funds. Now you must explain how this happened to your Head of Risk and CEO, who will undoubtedly not be pleased to hear the news.