Bank of International Settlements Forex Report (2016)

The BIS (Bank of International Settlements) triennial survey is considered the most comprehensive report in the Foreign Exchange Market.


BIS Report / Summary of Findings (compared to three years ago)

-The total Forex market volume is slightly diminishing due to regulatory tightening ($5.1 from $5.4 trillion a day)

-The US Dollar maintains and strengthens its dominant position, the Euro, on the other hand, is falling but maintains the second position

-China's Yan market share is rising fast and already reached 4.0% (doubled since three years ago)

-The Forex market's activity became even more concentrated (77%) in the major five (5) world financial centers

-London's role as the global financial center is diminishing, but still, maintains the dominant market share

-The three major Asian financial centers (Tokyo, Hong-Kong, and Singapore) are rising fast in terms of volumes and market shares


Bank of International Settlements Forex Report (2016)


Daily Average Forex Market Volumes

According to the BIS, in April 2016, the total Forex market volume fell to a daily average of $5.1 trillion. That is the first time the Forex market's volume is moving diminishing since 2001. The average daily record was $5.4 trillion, three years ago. The main reasons for that decrease:

(i) regulatory tightening, and

(ii) squeeze on bank trading due to recent banking scandals (currency market manipulation by certain large banks)

The Forex Market today, compared to three years ago:

  • 15% decline in spot FX volumes, that average $1.7 trillion a day

  • 6% increase in FX swaps, that average $2.4 trillion a day


Geographical Distribution of the Foreign Exchange Market Activity

The Forex market activity became even more concentrated in the major five (5) world financial centers: London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In total, the volumes generated from the above centers account 77% of the total global market share, from 75% three years ago.

London's Diminishing Role as the Centre of the Global Forex Market

According to the BIS, London's role as the center of the Global Forex Market is under threat. This is happening as the proportion of currency trades going through London fell in the past couple of years (past three years to be more accurate).

But still, London is the biggest player in the currency market accounting 37% of the total Forex market share. London's share reached 41% back in 2013.

New York in the Second Place

New York is found at the second largest Forex world center with a global share of 19% (unchanged).

Forex Volumes Move Toward Asia

The are three major centers of currency trading in Asia:

(i) Tokyo,

(ii) Hong Kong, and

(iii) Singapore

The Asian financial centers witnessed an increase in trading volume from 15% of the total global share to 21%.


Forex Currencies Market Share -The US Dollar Maintains its Dominant Position

The US Dollar managed to strengthen its position as the global dominant currency.

  • The US Dollar

The US Dollar (USD) is involved in 88% percent of all Forex market's transactions, from 87% three years ago.

  • The European Euro

The Euro (EUR) continued its decline. The Euro share fell to 31% from 33% three years ago. Note that the Euro's share was 39% back in 2009.

  • The Japanese Yen

The Japanese Yen (JPY) fell to 22% percent.

  • The Australian Dollar

The Australian Dollar (AUD) fell to 6.9% from 8.6% three years ago.

  • The Swiss Franc

The Swiss franc (CHF) fell to 4.8% from 5.2% three years ago.

  • The Chinese Yuan

The Yuan (CNY) took the place of Mexico's peso as the dominant emerging market currency. The Yuan's share doubled to 4%.

In total, the emerging currencies share (traded volumes) reached 21.2% from 18.8% three years ago.


The Forex Pairs

-EURUSD share fell to 23% from 24.1% three years ago, note that it was 30% in 2001.

-USDJPY share fell to 17.7% from 18.3% three years ago.

-GBPUSD share rose to 9.2% from 8.8% three years ago, note that it was 13.4% in 2004.


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(BIS) Bank of International Settlements Forex Report 2016 

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