FCA-regulated Lucid Markets, a non-bank market maker in the institutional FX market, has released its financial results for the full year ending December 31, 2017, which featured a continued decline across a number of key metrics, ranging from profit to revenues. The latest results on UK Companies House, however, showed a mitigated financial loss for the reported fiscal period.
Financial problems at Lucid Markets date back years as the firm, which is majority-owned by FXCM through its UK arm, has been offered for sale since 2015.
Last year, Lucid Markets saw a net loss of $5.8 million compared to $74.4 million in the year ending December 31, 2016. In addition, Lucid’s operating revenues pale in comparison to last year’s figures, underscoring a sizable drop to $3 million, after it was reported at $7 million a year earlier.
Looking at the rest of the filing, Lucid Markets highlighted that it is still actively being marketed for sale in the context of FXCM Group’s plans to dispose of interests in certain retail and institutional businesses, which commenced back in 2015 following the SNB’s black swan event.
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Lucid Markets is 50.1 percent owned by FXCM UK Merger Limited, which in turn is 100 percent owned by FXCM Group, LLC. Global Brokerage, Inc. formerly known as FXCM Inc., is the ultimate controlling undertaking that operates and controls all of the group’s businesses and subsidiaries.
U.K.-based Lucid Markets has seen a stellar rise in its status in the traditionally bank-dominated field of price-making. Lucid was founded in 2009 by Matthew Wilhelm, the former head of FX algorithmic trading at Goldman Sachs, and Dierk Reuter, the former head of FX algorithmic trading at Deutsche Bank, to operate as a specialist high-frequency trading firm and has built out a market-making business to institutional clients since then.
Traditionally, only the largest funds and institutions have been able to get access to the benefits provided by the non-bank market makers. This is because access has relied on the client having a tier one prime broker relationship.
High-frequency trading firms, such as Lucid, now offer their liquidity stream to a select range of FX clients, such as retail brokers, as an alternative form of liquidity to the banks.