FXCM institutional volumes continue to dive

Retail picks up in Sept for FXCM, but not Institutional.

Leading retail FX firm FXCM, the world’s largest online FX broker, announced its September volumes, with retail volumes coming in at $304 billion for the month, and institutional at $46 billion. Comparatively (see chart below), retail volumes were up 12% as compared with August, but institutional volumes were down 8%, continuing a downward spiral since hitting a peak of $174 billion-per-month last October. Note that both retail (-18%) and institutional (-64%) were down compared to last year September.

The increase in retail was certainly expected, as we have seen similar nice increases in Sept FX volumes at CME Group, ICAP-EBS, and Thomson Reuters — all institutional platforms — as volatility picked up nicely after the end of summer break. That makes the decrease in institutional at FXCM more puzzling. But from a dollars-and-cents perspective it isn’t that important for FXCM, as the (vast) majority of its revenues and profits come from retail.

Earlier this month FXCM filed a prospectus for an up-to-$125-million financing, leading up to believe that FXCM is gearing up for more acquisitions to bolster its growth. FXCM has been already active on the M&A front, acquiring institutional market maker Lucid Markets for $176 million in June. Last year FXCM made two smaller acquisitions of FX brokers in Japan.

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