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Home > News and Publications > Survey of foreign exchange and over-the-counter interest rate derivatives markets

Survey of foreign exchange and over-the-counter interest rate derivatives markets

01 September 2016

Press Release

We have published the results of our latest survey of turnover in the markets for foreign exchange and over-the-counter interest rate derivatives, which takes place every three years.
The survey is coordinated globally by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and was carried out in April by central banks and monetary authorities in 52 countries. The Bank of England conducts the UK survey, which covers the business of leading UK financial institutions in the markets for foreign exchange (spot, forwards, foreign exchange swaps, currency swaps and options) and over-the-counter (OTC) interest rate derivatives. The survey is aimed at obtaining comprehensive and internationally consistent information on the size and structure of the global markets.
Headline results from the survey:
  • Average daily turnover in foreign exchange was $2,426 billion during April 2016, 11 per cent lower than the $2,726 billion recorded for April 2013. The United Kingdom remains the single largest centre of foreign exchange activity with 37 per cent of global turnover in April 2016, decreasing from 41 per cent in 2013.
  • The decrease was driven by a fall in foreign exchange spot transactions, which decreased by 24 per cent. Average daily turnover in options and forward transactions also decreased, down 37 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
  • In contrast, turnover in foreign exchange swaps increased by 3 per cent and remain the largest traded foreign exchange item in the UK, accounting for 48 per cent of all trades. Turnover in currency swaps also increased, up 125 per cent, although account for just 3 per cent of total turnover.
  • Average daily turnover in OTC interest rate derivatives was $1,181 billion during April 2016, a 12 per cent decrease on the $1,348 billion recorded for April 2013. The UK is no longer the largest centre for OTC interest rate derivatives activity, with 39 per cent of OTC interest rate derivatives activity taking place in the United Kingdom, compared with 41 per cent in the US.
  • Turnover in interest rate forward rate agreements decreased 21 per cent, whilst turnover in interest rate swaps and interest options decreased 5 per cent and 39 per cent respectively. Interest rate swaps remained the most traded interest rate derivative, accounting for 64 per cent of total OTC interest rate derivatives turnover in April 2016.

Further information on the survey findings:
The 2016 Q4 issue of the Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin (scheduled for publication on 16 December) will provide further analysis and more comprehensive statistics for the UK.
The Bank for International Settlements is publishing preliminary global results today, with a detailed analysis to follow in December 2016. Central banks in many other countries are also publishing their own survey results. You can find links to their websites on the BIS website.