Greenwich report: New margin rules to trigger shift in FX options trades from OTC to exchanges

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The Greenwich Associates, a global provider of data, analytics and insights to the financial services industry, has informed today that, during its last report, it has examined the final phase of uncleared margin rules (UMR) and noted that it could trigger a shift in FX options trading from OTC to exchange-based trading.

UMR, which is being gradually applied to market participants by region and market volume over a five-year window ending in 2020, has increased trading costs for OTC FX options and will meaningfully disrupt the prime brokerage industry.

David Stryker, Principal with Greenwich Associates Markets team, and author of FX Options in the Age of Uncleared Margin Rules, commented:

Despite the fact that many if not most market participants eventually will be subject to the rules, only one-in-five buy-siders report that they have begun to examine the impact that UMR will have on their trading costs.

The new Greenwich Report examines the impact of UMR and evaluates steps market participants can take to avoid cost increases or disruptions.

The results of the analysis demonstrate that the buy side has an alternative available that can provide meaningful cost savings to trading in FX options in the OTC market. In fact, under some circumstances, trading listed FX options could reduce trading costs by upward of 70%. And with exchanges such as CME evolving their product offerings to better align with client trading behavior, the friction associated with shifting positions to a listed environment is lessening quickly.

Over the next two years, the interest in listed options will only grow,” David Stryker added “We have seen exchange-traded products gain significant traction in other asset classes and expect FX options will be next in that evolution.

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