In April 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 April 2021 reporting period are available separately.
The main findings of the survey are:
- Average daily reported UK foreign exchange turnover reached record highs: $2,985 billion in April 2021. This represented a 16% increase on the $2,582 billion turnover recorded in October 2020, and a 24% rise relative to the $2,412 billion turnover recorded in April 2020.
- Turnover in FX swaps rose to $1,575 billion, an increase of 18% relative to October 2020, and turnover in FX spot increased by 14% since October 2020 to $807bn. Turnover in Outright forwards (+14%) and NDFs (+15%) also rose relative to October 2020. Turnover in all instruments increased when compared to the April 2020 survey.
- USD/EUR remained the most commonly traded pair in London, with average daily turnover of $913.6 billion in April 2021, reaching all-time highs. This represented a 17% increase on the October 2020 survey results and a 27% increase on the April 2020 figures. USD/GBP maintained its position as the second most commonly traded currency pair in London, +18% since October 2020, at $385.4bn. USD/JPY turnover rose from $266.2 billion in October 2020 to $334.3 billion in April 2021 (+26%).
- Other notable increases in trading across G10 currency pairs included USD/CAD, where turnover rose to its highest levels since the survey began: $136.7 billion (+47% since October 2020), and in AUD/USD, which increased by 32% since October 2020 to $121.3 billion.
Tables 1 to 4 provide various summaries of the average daily data for April 2021, with comparisons to October 2020.
Similar semi-annual surveys were also conducted in April 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 
- Global and UK results for the April 2019 BIS triennial survey
- The results of this survey are also available on the website of the FXJSC
- Reporting guidelines issued to participating financial institutions
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.