Swapswire launch bigger than planned

Swapswire launch bigger than planned

SwapsWire, the OTC derivatives dealing platform owned by a 23-bank consortium, has won regulatory approval from the Financial Services Authority and is to launch later this year with a larger group of dealers than originally planned.

Initial plans had called for nine founder members to participate in the launch in Europe, with euro and US dollar swaps. The launch group has now been expanded to as many of SwapsWire’s shareholders as possible, expected to be around twenty institutions.

The initial product covering will be euro and sterling interest rate swaps, with other European currencies following quickly. US dollar swaps will be launched at the same time as New York-based dealers are brought on to the system, expected to be two to three months after the European launch.

The group has also expanded its board from nine to thirteen directors. Three of the new directors come from shareholders Bank of America, Credit Agricole Indosuez, and Lehman Brothers. The fourth is SwapsWire’s CEO, Andrew Brown.

Commenting on the appointments, Brown says: “We know that these leading players in the derivatives market, by participating at board level, will provide valuable insight and input to the strategic direction of SwapsWire as it evolves”.

The changes were the result of a review precipitated by the board contracting from ten to nine directors following the merger of JP Morgan and Chase Manhattan Bank.

The introduction of electronic trading is expected to lead to substantial cost savings for participants in the multi-trillion dollar interest rate swaps market, as automated systems replace the prevalent labour-intensive, non-standard and manual procedures.

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