Top Headlines

FCA Chief Eyes ‘Lower Burden’ Regulation After Brexit – Financial Times

Britain would favour a “lower burden” approach to financial regulation after leaving the EU, the head of the UK’s market watchdog has said as the regulator looks to reshape the rule book for financial services.

LCH Plans Major Forex Clearing Expansion – (subscription)

LCH’s ForexClear is set to start clearing cash-settled foreign exchange options within the next year, with a separate service for deliverable forex swaps and forwards also rumoured to be in the works. Sources say the central counterparty may also be laying the groundwork for a potential cross-currency swap clearing service in the future.

Demand for TCA Dropping Despite Sell-Side Investment, Says Citi Market Structure Head – The Trade

Despite buy-side citing use of transaction cost analysis as a larger focus post-MiFID II, Citi’s market structure head for EMEA says the bank is actually seeing the converse in action.

Exchanges Made $30 billion in 2018, But a New Report Suggests Their Business Could Be at Risk if They Don’t Innovate in Three Ways – Business Insider (subscription)

Exchanges had another banner year in 2018 with global revenue rising to just shy of $30 billion, according to a recent report by consultancy Opimas. However, for trading venues to continue to enjoy such large profits, changes need to be made, the report suggests.

Alternative Data Comes of Age, Investors Are Noticing – CNBC

Some practitioners argue that investors have always used “alternative” data for prediction, but sophisticated data gathering, cleaning and analysis has exploded in the past years, and there are over 400 alternative data providers out there, according to, a site run by YipitData, one of those providers. Still, it is early days.

Regulatory News

FCA Demands More From ‘Complacent’ City Brokers – Financial News (subscription)

The UK financial watchdog has strongly rebuked City brokers for not keeping pace with regulations designed to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis, and called for “urgent” changes to pay and culture.

Regulator Says Foreign Exchange Firms Operated $75 Million Fraud Scheme – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Executives at three trading firms used investor funds to purchase exotic vacations and sports tickets, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

MiFID II Increases Research Unbundling In US – MarketsMedia

European Union regulations have increased research unbundling in the US according to Sandy Bragg, principal at consultancy Integrity Research.

China, Indonesia, India Slow to Finalise Close-Out Netting Reforms – Regulation Asia

In its April quarterly round-up, ISDA detailed efforts in the three jurisdictions to ensure legal certainty on close-out netting, seen to be a critical issue for derivatives market development.

Crypto News

Big Bitcoin Exchange Ends Bid to Lure High-Speed Traders – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is ending an ambitious effort to win over high-frequency traders, the latest sign that bitcoin companies are having trouble attracting mainstream financial players.

SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son Lost $130m in Mistimed Bitcoin Bet – Financial Times

Masayoshi Son, founder of SoftBank, lost more than $130m in a personal bet on bitcoin, buying near the cryptocurrency’s record high and selling after it tumbled.

Crypto Reinvents Custody – MarketsMedia

Digital custody remains a work in progress for custodial banks. Unlike typical securities, digital assets are held directly by the owner rather than indirectly by the custodians and puts the settlement systems at odds with each other.

John McAfee Vows to Unmask Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto – Bloomberg

John McAfee, the eccentric antivirus pioneer known for his brushes with the law, said he has spoken with Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and plans to reveal the person’s identity.

Company News

Data, Transparency and Liquidity: Lynn Martin, ICE Data Services – Tabb Forum

Lynn Martin, president and COO, ICE Data Services, Intercontinental Exchange discusses ICE’s push into front-office data, the controversy over the cost of equities market data, the evolution of the alternative data space, and the need for data structure in the crypto markets.

INTL FCStone Financial Launches Prime Brokerage Division – INTL FCStone

The prime brokerage division will offer a platform to more effectively execute trades, custody, and clearing for US and global equities, options, futures, foreign exchange and fixed income through INTL FCStone. 

Automation is the Future of Futures Markets – Financial Times

New studies by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main US derivatives regulator, have established just how much robots account for the day-to-day action inside futures bourses operated by CME Group, the world’s biggest exchange company.

UBS and Deutsche Bank Asset Managers in ‘Serious’ Merger Talks – Financial Times

The asset management arms of Deutsche Bank and UBS are in serious talks to merge in a deal that would create a new European champion in the investment industry.

JP Morgan Continues Electronic Trading Push by Poaching Former ITG Algo Trader – eFinancialCareers

The bank’s latest investment comes in the form of new hire Philip Pearson, the former head of algorithmic trading for the US and Latin America at ITG, which was acquired by Virtu Financial late last year.

Market Savvy

Sterling at Two-Month Lows as Dollar and Brexit Weigh – Reuters

The pound held at a two-month low on Wednesday, weighed down by a broad-based rally in the dollar and fading hopes of a breakthrough in Brexit talks between the British government and the opposition.

Aussie Stung By Soft Inflation, US Dollar Holds Near 22-Month High – Reuters

Australia’s dollar dropped one percent on Wednesday after weaker-than-expected inflation numbers heightened the prospect of an interest rate cut, while the US dollar held firm within a whisker of the previous session’s 22-month high.

Japan’s Long Holiday Could Yield a Golden Opportunity – Financial Times

The more serious (and now well flagged) issue is forex, where trading will continue in Japan during the shutdown but in a far less liquid – and more potentially unstable – state than usual.

Franc Set for Worst Month Since 2017 Means SNB ‘Sleeps Easier’ – Bloomberg

The franc is headed for its worst month in almost two years, bringing relief to Swiss policy makers seeking a weaker currency in their quest to revive inflation.