ICAP launches i-Swap in the US
New York/London, February 19, 2013 – ICAP (IAP.L), the world's leading interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services, announces that it launched i-Swap, its electronic interest rate derivative platform in the US for trading of US Dollar (USD) interest rate swaps (IRS) on Friday, 15 February. Barclays, B of A Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan are supporting i-Swap by providing streaming prices. An additional 30 banking and investing institutions have access to trading on the platform. Initial levels of participation on the platform were encouraging and are expected to increase over the course of the coming weeks and months.
i-Swap is a trading platform for interest rate derivatives that enables customers to choose optimal execution methods, either through a broker or directly into the platform. i-Swap is open to banks that are clearing members of a recognised clearing house for interest rate derivatives. Non-clearing member banks will continue to have access via ICAP's brokers. ICAP launched its award-winning trading platform, i-Swap for Euro IRS, in September 2010 and since then it has experienced increasing use by market participants and seen trading activity grow. Today around a third of all ICAP's 1 – 30 year Euro IRS trades are executed electronically through the platform.
The i-Swap USD platform provides new levels of transparency and a full audit trail. Once the final rules associated with running a Swap Execution Facility (SEF) arising from the Dodd-Frank Act are published by the CFTC, i-Swap USD intends to register as a SEF and operate in compliance with the rules and regulations.
Michael Spencer, Group Chief Executive of ICAP, said: "I'm delighted that we have launched i-Swap in the U.S. It marks a significant milestone in the development of the wholesale financial markets. Trading in interest rate swaps is moving increasingly electronic. i-Swap will meet new regulatory requirements and facilitate the transition from a predominately voice-brokered environment to a cost-efficient and transparent electronic trading venue for customers. We're confident that i-Swap in US dollars will replicate the success it has had in Europe with Euro swaps as the market adopts to this new way of trading interest rate swaps."
Gary Cameron, Managing Director, Head of USD IRS trading at J.P. Morgan, said: "We're pleased to be a part of the launch of the i-Swap platform in the US. The markets continue to migrate towards electronic trading and the platform will help satisfy our execution, reporting and transparency requirements".
Nat Tyce, Head of Rates Trading at Barclays, said: "As a longstanding proponent of electronic trading and market evolution, Barclays was a principal supporter of ICAP's i-Swap launch in Europe and we are excited to be supporting its timely launch in the US. As the market evolves and adapts to the new regulatory landscape, i-Swap will become a significant and key part of market infrastructure. Market participants will benefit from utilising i-Swap in the US, through reduced operational risk, lower costs, and greater execution options".
Thomas Hartnett, Head of Rates and IG Credit, North America for Deutsche Bank, said: "We welcome today's launch of a system which offers us the benefits of both electronic and voice trading. This initiative will also make a substantial contribution towards innovating the market structure and streamlining the operational elements of OTC derivatives trading".
Notes to editors
ICAP's interest rate swaps platform has a number of features that are specifically developed to reflect the trading strategies of the banks:
- Certainty of execution ensured by pre-allocated credit allowing instant matching
- Open Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) – matches all orders according to same priority rules
- Multi-legged, implied matching of strategies and outright swaps with no chain limitation or legging risk
- Single API supporting automated order, credit submission and instant risk updates
- Trade confirmation and STP via Markitwire
- Hybrid Liquidity Pool, combining best of voice and electronic markets for maximum execution flexibility
|Alex Dee||Head of Investor Relations||+44 (0) 20 7050 7123|
|Guy Taylor||ICAP Communications US||+1 212 341 9759|
|Serra Balls||ICAP Communications UK||+44 (0) 20 7050 7124|
i-Swap is ICAP's award-winning electronic trading platform for OTC interest rate derivatives, offering continuous streaming support across Euro and USD Interest Rate Swaps. i-Swap's automated matching model and implied strategy trading functionality allows ICAP to enhance its electronic liquidity through improving prices by linking liquidity in underlying swaps to liquidity in strategy orders such as spreads, butterflies, and spread-overs.
ICAP is the world's leading interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk mitigation and information services. The Group matches buyers and sellers in the wholesale markets in interest rates, credit, commodities, FX, emerging markets and equity derivatives through voice and electronic networks. Through our post trade risk and information services we help our customers manage and mitigate risks in their portfolios. For more information go to www.icap.com.