In October 2021, 27 financial institutions active in the UK foreign exchange market participated in the semi-annual turnover survey for the Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee (FXJSC). The survey results are summarised below; more detailed tables, including a market share report, for the October 2021 reporting period are available separately.
The main findings of the survey are:
- Average daily reported UK foreign exchange turnover was $2,757 billion in October 2021. This represented a 6% decrease on the $2,948 billion turnover recorded in April 2021, and 7% rise relative to the $2,582 billion turnover recorded in October 2020.
- Turnover in FX swaps fell to $1,428 billion, a decrease of 6% relative to April 2021, and turnover in FX spot decreased by 9% since April 2021, to $730bn. Turnover in outright forwards (+3%) and NDFs (-5%) were mixed relative to April 2021. Turnover in all instruments other than outright forwards decreased when compared to the April 2021 survey.
- USD/EUR remained the most commonly traded pair in London, with average daily turnover of $768.5 billion in October 2021. This represented a 15% decrease on the April 2021 survey results and a 2% decrease on the October 2020 figures. USD/JPY turnover also fell from $347.0 billion in April 2021, to $289.5 billion in October 2021 (-17%).
- There was an increase in sterling activity reported in October 2021 relative to April 2021. USD/GBP maintained its position as the second most commonly traded currency pair in London, +13% since April 2021, at $429.9bn. The percentage share of all trades including sterling as a proportion of average daily turnover also rose from 16.6% in April 2021 to 19.7% in October 2021.
- Other notable changes in trading across major currency pairs include AUD/USD, which increased by 3% since April 2021 to $125.0 billion and became the fourth most traded currency pair.
Tables 1 to 4 below provide various summaries of the average daily data for October 2021, with comparisons to April 2021. See a more detailed set of results tables for October 2021.
Similar semi-annual surveys were also conducted in October 2021 by the New York Foreign Exchange Committee, the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee, the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market Committee, the Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee, the Australian Foreign Exchange Committee, and the Hong Kong Treasury Markets Association.
Notes for editors
- The FXJSC is a market liaison group, established in 1973 by the banks and brokers of the London FX market, as a forum to discuss broad market issues. The Bank of England chairs the Committee, which comprises senior practitioners from institutions active in the UK wholesale foreign exchange market, from the broking community, from infrastructure providers and representatives from industry associations and the relevant UK public authorities.
- Whilst the data presented here is of a similar nature to that collected by the BIS triennial survey, it is more frequent and there is one main difference in the reporting methodology: the basis of reporting for the FXJSC survey is the location of the price-setting dealer, whereas the basis of reporting in the BIS triennial survey is the location of the sales desk.
- Figures from the April 2019 BIS triennial survey indicated larger volumes when compared to the April 2019 FXJSC survey. This may be related to reporting improvements made by institutions in 2019. Alternatively, pre-existing differences between the surveys’ reporting methodologies may have been magnified in 2019. However, the two surveys are broadly comparable over the long term.footnote 
- Figures from the April 2021 survey have been revised following resubmissions from some survey participants.footnote  See updated results tables.
- See Global and UK results for the April 2019 BIS triennial survey.
- The results of this survey are also available on the FXJSC page.
See Goodacre, H and Razak, E (2019), ‘The foreign exchange and over-the-counter interest rate derivatives market in the United Kingdom’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, 2019 Q4.
Due to improvements in some participants reporting procedures, revisions have been made to previous data.