The ACI UK Square Mile Debate, in partnership with Refinitiv, attracted a full house to explore the reality of the impact of the FX Global Code, based on recent GFXC Annual Survey results (and associated reports on transparency and ‘cover and deal’) including whether and how Code implementation supports Senior Manager and Certification Regime compliance in the UK.
Neill Penney of Refinitiv opened proceedings, and welcomed our esteemed speakers and panellists. Rohan Churm, Head of the Bank of England’s Foreign Exchange Division gave a very timely and comprehensive overview of key GFXC survey results before joining the panel comprising of Vincenzo Dimase, Market Development Director, Trading, EMEA, Michelle Kirschner, Partner at Macfarlane’s, a legal expert on senior management regulation, conduct risk and corporate governance and David Clark, ACI’s honorary Chair and tireless supporter and influencer in FX markets, to discuss a number of industry questions around the Code. Eva Szalay, Financial Times, moderated the debate.
1. The 2018 GFXC Survey results published recently reported ‘significant increase’ in firms signing Statements of Commitment to the Global Code – from 11% in 2017 to 55% in 2018. These signees remain, predominantly, sell side organisations. Does the panel think that buy side firms think that it’s less relevant to them as ‘clients’ of the sell side?
2. While the increase in numbers of organisations signing Statements of Commitment is welcomed, is this sufficient ‘action’ to effect real change in respect of industry best practices? Is the panel concerned that it’s relatively easy to sign an SoC but is an enormous investment and commitment to inculcate changed attitudes and habits across an organisation?
3. The extension of SM&CR regulation to all solo-regulated financial services firms in December this year will mandate practically all financial market participants to comply with rigorous responsibility and accountability rules. The FCA has indicated that it will expect firms operating in FX (and other unregulated markets) to demonstrate adherence to applicable principles-based Codes, such as the Global Code. Beyond simply signing a SoC. Where does the SM&CR meet the Global Code and particularly, how does the SM&CR regime work in a trading and sales environment?
4. The FX industry has had a pretty bad press in recent years, with a number of firms and individuals facing legal action (criminal and civil) for ‘bad practises’? Does adoption of the principles of the Global Code and/or compliance with SM&CR and other market transparency/integrity regulations make these issues go away? Is there a concern that there’s still a wide gap between what firms say they do and what they actually do to effect actual cultural/behavioural change?
5. What more does the panel feel needs to be done to ensure that market participants fully embrace the principles of conduct and best practice outlined in the Code beyond signing the Statement of Commitment? [For example, over 80% of sell side respondents and 55% of ALL respondents cited staff training as key driver for Code implementation].
Rohan is the Head of Foreign Exchange Division at the Bank of England. The division is responsible for leading the Bank’s foreign currency operations, and using its presence, expertise and influence in financial markets to inform and shape the Bank’s policy decisions and priorities.
Rohan is a member of the London Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee (FXJSC). Rohan was previously head of Stress Testing Strategy Division from 2014-17 and was responsible for the delivery of stress tests and development of the stress testing framework. He joined the Bank of England in 2001 as an economist.
Vincenzo is Market Development Director, Trading, EMEA at Refinitiv (formerly the Financial & Risk Business of Thomson Reuters). Vincenzo began his career in Reuters Dubai and covered several key roles within the company, with a special focus on trading, Foreign Exchange and regulation.
He is an expert on regulatory matters – including MiFID II, EMIR and the FX Global Code and has presented at and moderated several prominent industry workshops and conferences across Europe.
- Webinar on FX Global Code in collaboration with ACIFMA: (Nov 2018) Details here
- Moderation of FX Global Code Panel Discussion with LFMA in Luxembourg ( Oct 2018) with Intesa SanPaolo, ECB & Deutsche Bundesbank. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZgnWelnYMI
- Moderation of round table to launch ASSIOMFOREX Public Register, in collaboration with Bank of Italy.
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Michelle Kirschner, Macfarlanes
As a partner at Macfarlanes, a leading City law firm, Michelle advises a broad range of financial institutions, including asset managers, investment banks, corporate finance houses, hedge fund managers, private equity firms and private wealth managers, advising them on regulatory “hot topics” such as regulation of senior management, corporate governance structures and conduct risk.
Michelle has extensive experience in advising clients on areas such as systems and controls, market abuse, conduct of business and regulatory change management, including MiFID II, MAR and Senior Managers & Certification Regime. Following the EU referendum, Michelle has spent considerable time advising regulated clients in relation to their options for conducting business in / into the EU following Brexit.
Michelle has particular experience in contentious regulatory matters, including acting as a section 166 skilled person under the Financial Services and Markets Act. She has also conducted internal investigations, in particular reviews of corporate governance and systems and controls in the context of EU and UK regulatory requirements and expectations.
David Clark, is very well known as an industry expert – and indefatigable supporter – of FX/OTC and broader financial markets. David is a member of the Bank of England FX JSC (Joint Standing Committee), Honorary President of ACI and Chairman of the European Venues and Intermediaries Association (formerly WMBA). He is also a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of a number of TPIcap SEF subsidiaries.
David spent nearly 50 years working in currency and capital markets at Bankers Trust, Commerzbank, HSBC and Bankgesellschaft before moving into non-executive director and advisory positions. He is a former Chairman of Charity Bank and a non-executive director of CafBank (both linked with the Charities Aid Foundation), was Senior Independent (SID) non-executive director of Tullett Prebon, and a non-executive director of Westpac Europe Limited.
David was a senior advisor to the UK’s Financial Services Authority and sat on a number of Basel II working groups. He was President of ACI, The Financial Markets Association from 1992-95 and is currently the Honorary President of both ACI UK and ACI Financial Markets Association. In March 2006 he was appointed as Chairman of the Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association (now EVIA) and the London Energy Brokers’ Association.
He is a currently a member of the Bank of England FX Joint Standing Committee and the Bank’s Sonia Advisory Committee. He is a Non-Executive Director of Thomson Reuters Benchmark Services Ltd where he chairs the WM/Reuters Oversight Committee, and is also a member of the Ice Benchmark Administration, Libor and IceSwap oversight committees.