Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

Continue Reading


BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

Continue Reading


Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate. OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply […]

Continue Reading


Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

Continue Reading

Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Financial

ICAP plans US electronic swaps venue

Posted on January 31, 2014

ICAP has applied to operate a US electronic swaps trading venue overseen by UK regulators, stepping up its moves to address sweeping US laws governing the over-the-counter derivatives market.

The UK interdealer broker wants to turn its BrokerTec fixed income trading platform into a venue mandated to meet US swaps rules from London, according to documents filed with US and UK regulators earlier this month.

    The move, involving one of its biggest trading units, comes amid growing concerns that the vast off-exchange derivatives market is beginning to fragment along regional lines following the introduction of tough new US legislation.

    ICAP acts as a middleman in the market, moving large and illiquid blocks of assets such as swaps between buyers and sellers, often by telephone. To strengthen the swaps markets against systemic risk, US authorities have mandated into existence new electronic venues known as Swap Execution Facilities. Banks, brokers and investors have spent much of the past four months scrambling to understand and meet new daily trading and compliance procedures.

    But many non-US financial institutions have been worried by guidance issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on cross-border regulation, and see the incoming rules as tantamount to an overseas land grab by the CFTC.

    A recent industry survey suggested most trading on Sefs in their four-month existence had been by US dealers, with European-based dealers wary of trading in the US market.

    More than 70 per cent of interest rate swap volume in the final three months of 2013 was US-dollar denominated business, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a trade body. ICAP wants a London-based Sef for customers who want access to the liquidity of a Sef from Europe.

    ICAP’s BrokerTec trades G7 public debt securities, with US dollar swaps trading among its profitable areas. The securities also remain largely outside the scope of the US Dodd-Frank Act.

    ICAP has filed papers at UK Companies House to rename its BrokerTec business ICAP Global Derivatives Ltd. It is intended to be US-registered and compliant with US rules, while remaining under the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK regulator. It plans to trade US dollar, euro and sterling interest rate products, with trades cleared via the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and LCH. Clearnet. Its chief executive will be John Nixon, the head of its Americas business.

    Trading on Sefs is due to become mandatory in mid-February and ICAP already has approval for a US-based Sef, which will be run by Laurent Paulhac, a former CME Group executive.

    Last year Michael Spencer, chief executive, confirmed ICAP was considering applications for both a US and a UK entities.