How Citigroup and RBS are Adding Pressure to the FX Technology Race

In an industry where every millisecond counts and where high-speed algorithmic trading is gaining popularity faster than Jeremy Lin is gaining fans, it only makes sense that the big players step up their game. After all, FX trading is still the largest financial market in the world.

This is probably why industry big boys like Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have already launched new products so early this year. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

1. Velocity 2.0 by Citigroup

Released just last month, Citigroup’s Velocity 2.0 is set to compete on speed, price, and user experience. Anil Prasad, global head of FX and local markets at Citi, said that the platform is 68% more compact than the previous versions as it can accommodate 42 open tiles on a single screen. Not only that, it also updates 92 milliseconds faster than its predecessors. That ought to excite news traders, don’t you think?

For those who are extra geeky and are into using algorithms in to trade, Prasad also mentioned the three alternatives you can use with Velocity – time-weighted average price, using Citi’s internal liquidity pool, or accessing all the liquidity in the market using the Silent Partner algorithm.

2. Royal Bank of Scotland’s RBSMarketplace

Not to be outdone, the Royal Bank of Scotland made some tweaks on its own platform, RBSMarketPlace (RBSM). They have one main goal in mind doing so – to enhance overall user experience!

In designing the new and improved version of RBSM, the Royal Bank of Scotland asked their clients for feedback. By working together, they came up with a platform with a simple user interface, awesome graphics, easy navigation, and various tools to help institutional clients with trading.

One major change that RBSM incorporated was the addition of montages that allow users to blotter all transactions, track related markets, and view historical data, all while watching your trade!

With their latest offerings, these two are breaking away from the pack. And in the process, they have raised the barrier to entry even higher for smaller players… as if competing with bigger players wasn’t hard enough! The Bank of England‘s latest forex study revealed that the six largest banks already control up to 65% of the markets share for some currencies!

Obviously, you won’t find these guys resting on their laurels, even though they’re two of the biggest banks in the forex trading scene. They’re constantly making major improvements in their trading technology to stay ahead of the competition, and they’ve really set the bar high in doing so.