Top Headlines

RBS Suspends Two Forex Traders Over ‘Currency Rigging’ – The Times(subscription)
Royal Bank of Scotland has suspended two more foreign exchange traders in London on suspicion of market manipulation as part of an investigation into currency rigging by American regulators.

Eliminate Phantom Liquidity in Currency Markets, BlackRock Says –Bloomberg
BlackRock said currency traders should be prevented from taking a “last look” before executing orders — a practice New York’s banking regulator is investigating.

Treasury Committee Publishes Letter from Lord Grabiner
The Treasury Committee has published a letter from Lord Grabiner following his appearance before the Committee last month. The purpose of the letter is to explain Lord Grabiner’s interpretation of the telephone conversation between Martin Mallett, who was chief dealer at Bank of England, and a trader.

BNY Mellon in Forex Settlement Talks with US, NY – Reuters
Bank of New York Mellon is in settlement talks with the US Justice Department and New York attorney general over claims the bank defrauded clients in foreign exchange transactions, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Yellen Puts Fed on Path to Lift Rates – Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, sounding upbeat about the economy, laid the groundwork for interest-rate increases later this year.

Regulatory News

BoE Releases Fair and Effective Markets Review Consultation Responses
The Fair and Effective Markets Review consultation on what needs to be done to reinforce confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of the fixed income, currency and commodities (FICC) markets finished on 30 January. The responses have now been published and the review’s final recommendations will be made in June.

ESMA Consults on MiFID II Rules Covering FX Derivatives – Profit & Loss (free story)
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a consultation paper (CP) which includes a number of non-equity asset classes not covered in the 19 December 2014 paper on Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) and Regulation (MiFIR).

ESMA Publishes Review on Best Execution Supervisory Practices Under MiFID
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has conducted a peer review on how national regulators (national competent authorities or NCAs) supervise and enforce the MiFID provisions relating to investment firms’ obligation to provide best execution, or obtain the best possible result, for their clients when executing their orders.

Swiss Watchdog Says Looking at Possible Gold Market Manipulation – Reuters
Switzerland’s competition commission WEKO is looking into possible manipulation of price fixing in the precious metals market, its spokesman said on Tuesday.

FCA Launches Investigation Covering OTC Derivatives Market – Profit & Loss(free story)
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) plans to launch a wholesale market study to look at whether competition is working properly in the investment and corporate banking sector, in response to concerns around transparency and conflicts of interest.

Company News

Bats Global Markets Names Chris Concannon as Chief Executive – Bloomberg
Bats Global Markets., the second-largest US stock market operator, said that Chris Concannon will take over as chief executive officer on 31 March.

KCG Launches New Risk Arbitrage Group, Appoints Former Cantor Fitzgerald Risk Arbitrage MD Eric Laumann – LeapRate
KCG has established a new offering specifically dedicated to providing clients with insight into complex and special situations, with Eric Laumann at the helm, an executive with experience that spans across institutions including Cantor Fitzgerald, Credit Suisse, Bear Stearns and Millennium Partners.

Market Savvy  

The Morning Track – Patience or Patient?
The US Fed Chair Yellen testimony is the event of the week as it sets the tone for divergence. The rest of the world, excluding perhaps the UK, is bent on staying in intensive care from other central bankers.

Press Releases

RBC Becomes EBS Direct’s First Canadian Liquidity Provider
EBS, Icap’s electronic FX business, announced that its growth in Commonwealth currencies will be further strengthened with the addition of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as the first Canadian liquidity provider (LP) on the EBS Direct platform. This brings the total number of LPs on EBS Direct to 19.

Barclay CTA Index Gains 3.41% in January; Currency Traders Up 4.11% in First Month of 2015
Managed futures traders got off to a fast start in 2015, with a 3.41% gain in January, according to the Barclay CTA Index compiled by BarclayHedge.

HKFE Announces Revised Margins for Futures Contracts
Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (HKFE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), has announced that, with effect from the commencement of trading on 2 March, the minimum margins to be collected by an exchange participant from its clients in respect of their dealings in the following futures contracts will be changed.

LCH.Clearnet Group Board Changes
LCH.Clearnet Group announced that Professor Lex Hoogduin will succeed Jacques Aigrain as chairman of LCH.Clearnet Group Board and LCH.Clearnet Board.

Industry Events