© London FX Ltd
Since 1999, banks have been developing proprietary systems for their customers to trade foreign exchange and access research material over the internet. To trade with multiple banks online, customers therefore need to use a variety of authentication methods, websites and price request methods. Multi-bank platforms have evolved to allow customers to use a single website to request prices simultaneously from multiple banks and view research material online. Multi-bank platforms (also known as ECNs or electronic communication networks) offer significant advantages to customers, but fewer advantages to banks, and therefore active participation by banks in multi-bank platforms is driven largely by customer demand. However, for the banks it remains preferable for their customers to trade through bank proprietary systems as the banks avoid paying brokerage and customers are encouraged to focus only on the particular bank's prices.
There are five main customer-facing FX ECNs:
FXall - founded by Bank of America, Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and UBS
Currenex - independent and venture backed by major market participants, e.g. Barclays Capital and Royal Dutch/Shell
FX Connect - owned by State Street
360T - independent and venture backed by financial and major private investors
Hotspot FXi - independent privately held venture capital-backed company
Bank membership of multi-bank platforms is as follows:
We rely on updates from ECNs to keep this page up to date, and information quickly becomes out of date when updates are infrequent. Some banks choose not to publicise their participation in ECNs. Although the above banks are members of the ECNs, some may not have yet fully connected.