CFTC February Data For FCMs Shows Interactive Brokers and FXCM Weathered The Storm

Except for three Futures Commission Merchants, the remaining 8 Forex Dealer Members holding Retail Forex Obligations for the month of

cftcThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released selected FCM financial Data for the month of February, and according to the 11 FCM’s that still hold Retail Forex Obligations, Month-over-Month drops were seen across the board.

The three that weathered the February storm were Interactive Brokers LLC (IB), Forex Capital Markets LLC (FXCM), and RJ OBrien & Associates which managed to grow the amount of retail forex obligations when compared to the month before, as Forex volumes had dipped globally for a number of FX brokers in February.

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From the 11 FCMs reporting retail forex deposits, there was a gross increase of a combined $4.5M from the above three firms that had increases, and a gross decrease of $8M from the remaining 8 FCMs that had decreases MoM, and when adding these sub-totals the net-net difference a drop of $3.48M from January’s total (including ILQ’s figures that were previously omitted – see note below). Therefore, the total 11 firms represented $617,525,451 in combined retail forex obligations in January which decreased to $614,042,676 in February, and down almost 6 tenths of a percent MoM.

Perhaps the high volumes of January made February challenging, in terms of the higher benchmark set at the start of the year.

Last month Forex Magnates reported when IB had a dip in its Forex deposits when compared to the month before, and February’s figures confirm a recovery of over 6% and increase of close to $2.5 M in retail forex obligations, and is in line with the stellar Q1 performance the company just reported.

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Second on the list in rankings for February according to the CFTC data is FXCM which managed to bring in nearly $1.7 M or a 1% increase in its retail forex obligations, as can be seen in the table below, and followed by RJ Obrien which managed a 3% increase or $370K higher month-over-month.

The remaining 8 Firms had decreases in the amount of retail forex obligations held in February when compared to January’s totals as per the CFTC data. However, following an omission of Institutional Liquidity LLC’s (ILQ) data for the month of January, Forex Magnates confirmed with a company spokesperson that the omission was due to a reporting error and we ascertained the number would have been $12,386,997 for the month of January, which now allows us to calculate the firms change MoM, as well as the entire group of FCM’s holding Retail Forex funds.

While for ILQ this might matter less now that it has announced its exit from the retail forex space in the U.S., with its bulk liquidation carried out just yesterday, the figures are nevertheless revealing of the trend for February when compared to the start of the year for the U.S. retail FX market. The biggest hit was indeed seen for ILQ’s retail forex funds, followed by Gain Capital Group LLC, and the FXDirectDealer LLC (FXDD), as per the table below, when compared to January’s totals.

Also noted is that there are few if any funds remaining for Alpari’s retail forex obligations since its U.S. book of retail fx business had since shifted to FXCM, yet we included it in the table as it still holds retail forex obligations albeit barely $40,000, as of February.

The table below uses CFTC data as of the end of February 2014, except for the figure from ILQ that was provided to Forex Magnates as noted above:

CFTC Selected FCM Data 2013 [Source: CFTC, and Forex Magnates]
CFTC Selected FCM Data 2013 [Source: CFTC, and Forex Magnates]
Forex Magnates last week released the Quarterly Industry Report for Q1 2014 (QIR1), which includes a detailed overview of executive interviews with FXCM’s CEO Drew Niv, FXDD’s CEO Joseph Botkier, and OANDA’s Chief Strategy Officer Vatsa Narasimha, after we met with each them separately in their New York offices to discuss the challenges in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, as well as what the most important drivers of business are. That research, and nearly 100 pages of data, analysis, and detailed insights in FX, across other relevant topics during Q1 and beyond, are now available for ordering and electronic delivery.

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