With everything that’s going on in the euro zone these days, traders and brokers can’t help but speculate about a possible return to the Greek drachma or worse, a potential euro zone break-up. In fact, ICAP Plc., operator of the world’s largest electronic trading platform for forex, has already come up with a contingency plan for this scenario.
Last Sunday ICAP officials revealed that for the past few months they have been testing the mechanics of trading the drachma on the firm’s platform in case Greece exits the euro zone. However, the officials also stressed that they’ve only hashed out the basic mechanics of trading Greece’s former currency.
They said that their preparations are concentrated on trading the drachma using the platform, its relationship with other currencies, and how its quotes would look like in an actual trading environment.
Apparently, they haven’t included valuations or EBS platform dummy trades involving banks just yet. Right now ICAP is just testing the drachma against only the dollar and the euro. In addition, they have also reloaded their drachma templates for spot forex and non-deliverable forwards, a type of futures contract.
According to ICAP, their decision to prepare their platforms for a possible Greek exit stemmed from discussions with their clients, mostly with dealer banks and third party settlement systems. After all, the euro zone debt crisis has been growing worse by the day as credit rating agencies started doling out downgrades left and right. It can’t hurt to be prepared for the worst, can it?
Still, ICAP reiterated that these contingency tests were merely preparations and not a prediction of a euro zone break-up. The London-based broker pointed out that it would be in their clients’ best interests to safeguard their systems against any possible trading disruptions.
At the end of the day, it’s reassuring to note that some major brokers such as ICAP are taking note of current market events and getting their platforms ready for any possible outcome. If you’re wondering if your broker is also ready for a possible Greek exit or euro zone break-up, why don’t you give them a call?