Wall Street banks beefing up forex operations

Forex is one of the few areas where big banks and Wall Street firms are hiring.

Apparently growing forex volumes and great results posted in the forex trading sector in the first half of 2013 has not gone unnoticed by big banks. Reuters reports that Wall Street brokerage firms and global banks have been snapping up executives from competitors to bolster foreign-exchange trading businesses, even at a time when they are cutting staff elsewhere such as in fixed income.

Reuters reports that in recent months firms such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley which have had smaller foreign exchange businesses than major rivals (such as Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Barclays and JPMorgan Chase) have stepped up efforts to gain market share.

Our take? The big banks and brokers — which are supposed to help us all with long term financial planning — are terrible themselves at it. Wall Street brokers and big banks tend to follow trends, not set them. When the forex business slowed down somewhat we saw the big banks exit the business. Now that things have picked up, they are jumping back in with two feet. (Can you say contra-indicator?).

A good example is Goldman Sachs, which dumped its 12.5% stake in LMAX last year, as volumes didn’t grow as fast as planned at the UK institutional forex broker. Now that the forex business is back in vogue — and LMAX forex volume has hit $125 billion per month — back comes Goldman Sachs to the forex hiring table.

To see the complete Reuters article click here.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.

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