London Summit Speaker Spotlight

Swissquote’s Bürki: Liquidity Still Key Industry Challenge

Ahead of his London Summit 2016 appearance, Swissquote's CEO talks about the SNB crisis and Brexit uncertainties.

The Finance Magnates London Summit is almost here and many of the event’s most distinguished participants and speakers have been providing readers with their unique insights on the broader financial market. In this interview Marc Bürki, the CEO of Swissquote, lends his perspective on the current state of the financial services industry and more.

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1. What is your position and what does your role entail?

I am the CEO of the Bank and the Group. Swissquote Bank parent company is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX). So on top of managing the bank there are many tasks linked to the public nature of the group.

2. What was the single most important event or development the market saw in 2016?

The major event on the market this year was definitely the Brexit referendum in June. We saw extreme volatility on our systems as the British people decided to leave the European Union. This unexpected decision raised additional uncertainty on the market, on top of the concerns linked to the Fed and ECB monetary actions to reflate worldwide growth.

theresa may
“Additional market uncertainty” – Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister.

3. What are the biggest challenges that the FX trading community is facing? How do they affect your field?

I think that the biggest challenge nowadays in the FX brokerage community is the access to liquidity. Indeed, credit is the oxygen on the FX market and since the global financial crisis, we saw market rules changing for tighter regulation and conditions.

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The SNB move in January 2015 has finalized the industry’s mutation 

The Basel III reforms adopted in 2010 forced prime brokers to revise their credit allocations policies towards certain segments of clients, such as retail brokers, small/medium banks and hedge funds.

The Swiss National Bank decision in January 2015 regarding the EUR/CHF peg finalized this mutation on the industry as PBs are now more reluctant than ever when it comes to providing liquidity to small and emerging business players.

This clearly modified the market structure and participated in the birth of what we call now prime of prime.

4. What is the main message you’d like to convey to London Summit delegates?

In a regulatory environment which is becoming increasingly stringent, especially in the FX industry, we tell our clients that it is now more important than ever to partner with a solid, regulated and reliable banking institution which can provide a significant counterparty to mitigate markets and business risks, as well as leading-edge technology to answer modern finance practices.

Marc Bürki will participate in the CEO panel at London Summit 2016, held on November 15th. Learn more about the agenda here   

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