CLS Group (CLS), a leading provider of risk management and operational services for the global foreign exchange (FX) market, and FirstRand, one of South Africa’s largest financial institutions, today announced that FirstRand joined CLS as a settlement member.
Founded in 1998, FirstRand is one of the most important financial institutions in South Africa and the wider sub-Saharan region. It plays an important role in the trading of many currencies, including the South African rand, which has been a CLS-eligible currency for over ten years. The addition of FirstRand increases the total number of CLS settlement members to 64 and ties in with CLS’s strategy to expand levels of participation across all global regions.
Settlement members are direct participants in the CLS system and submit payment instructions relating to their own FX transactions as well as those of their customers (known as indirect or third-party participants). Today, CLS settlement members submit payment instructions on behalf of more than 18,000 institutions worldwide, including banks, funds, non-bank financial institutions and multinational corporations.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome FirstRand as a CLS settlement member”, said David Puth, CEO of CLS. “This strengthens our presence in Africa and serves to confirm the critical role CLS plays in optimising risk management, operational and liquidity efficiencies for the global FX market. Participation in CLS continues to grow and we look forward to welcoming new members as we evolve further.”
Andries du Toit, FirstRand Group Treasurer, says: “Joining CLS as a settlement member is a great boost to our clients that are active in the global FX market. The South African rand is Africa’s most actively traded currency and mitigating settlement risk is a key priority for many institutions. Participation within the CLS ecosystem will enable us to achieve this goal and help reinforce FirstRand’s position as South Africa’s financial services group of choice.”