JPMorgan, Citigroup Win Top FX Market Share in Greenwich Ranking

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are pulling ahead of competitors in the world’s biggest financial market, according to Greenwich Associates.

The two banks tied for first place in the consultant’s global foreign-exchange market-share rankings because of their technology and extensive client networks, Greenwich said. UBS Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG tied for third place, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and Bank of America Corp. tied for fifth in the rankings, which are a based on a survey of more than 2,300 currency users released Wednesday.

“It was hard for foreign exchange dealers to make money in 2017,” wrote James Borger and Satnam Sohal, the authors of the Greenwich study. “That extended period of frustratingly slow market activity was just the breather banks needed to get their FX desks prepped and ready for the sudden reappearance of volatility in February 2018.”

Dealers in the $5.1 trillion-a-day market invested heavily in electronic trading last year as low volatility suppressed volumes, according to the Stamford, Connecticut-based financial-services consulting firm. The investments have helped market-makers capitalize on bouts of turmoil and rising activity so far in 2018. Banks that bolstered their technology platforms freed up sales traders to spend more time with clients and less time dealing with operational issues, according to Greenwich.

Citigroup and JPMorgan have a “rare ability to dominate across the entire industry” by covering both financial and corporate clients, according to the Greenwich study. That contrasts with peers who have needed to specialize as trading volumes migrate to lower-cost electronic platforms and are increasingly executed via algorithms.

Greenwich Associates’ rankings for global FX market share are as follows. The league table is based on interviews conducted from September through December:

RankDealer
1 (Tie)JPMorgan
1 (Tie) Citigroup
3 (Tie)UBS
3 (Tie) Deutsche Bank
5 (Tie)Goldman Sachs
5 (Tie) HSBC 
5 (Tie)Bank of America

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