Most Innovative Bank e-FX Trading Platform: Citi

Most Innovative Bank e-FX Trading Platform: Citi

Most Innovative Bank e-FX Trading Platform: Citi

The US bank remains committed to Velocity as the main distribution channel for its clients

Umesh Jagtiani: "We take a tremendous amount of pride in Velocity – a platform that represents everything we do"

Citi's Velocity platform is one of the most established single-dealer platforms in the foreign exchange space and it became the US giant's flagship product after its relaunch in 2012.

"We take a tremendous amount of pride in Velocity – a platform that represents everything we do as a business; it extends beyond just FX into cross-assets in global markets. This is an area we will continue to invest in going forward," says Umesh Jagtiani, global head of FX and local markets, e-commerce, at Citi.

 Despite the increasingly competitive landscape, which includes the aggressively pricing non-bank market-makers on multi-dealer platforms, Velocity remains Citi's main distribution channel for its clients; a commitment reflected in the pricing on the platform. However, the bank is open to adapting to changes in market demand if required.

"So if there is a move towards electronic communications networks (ECNs), then strategically we will look at that and our pricing will reflect our interest in those markets," Jagtiani adds.

With tight spreads available across ECNs, we make sure we provide quality of pricing across the offering on Velocity
James Bindler, Citi

James Bindler, global head of G10 FX at Citi, notes such shifts are unnecessary for now, due to banks' pivotal roles as the facilitators of direct relationships, even though there has been a growth in the volumes provided by high-frequency players.

"The broad, deep electronic offering we have will keep us connected to our clients. With tight spreads available across ECNs, we make sure we provide quality of pricing across the offering on Velocity," he says.

Clients describe Velocity as consistent, with liquidity available at above normal levels. This reliability, along with the 10 patents registered over the past year in a bid to improve Velocity, earned Citi the judges' votes as the winner of the Most Innovative Bank e-FX Platform category at FX Week's 2016 e-FX awards.

Velocity forward

As a result, development on Velocity never stops, and after rolling out the platform's mobile version in 2013, the bank launched its Citi Velocity app for Android in 2015, following a similar application for iOS in 2013.

Over the past year, Citi's focus has turned to maximising the ways it can give clients more control across all touch points on Velocity. The bank launched Command Centre, giving the main client administrator full visibility and control over their user base.

"We have clients with users spread around different geographies and, as an administrator, you are able to administer the transaction limits, access hours, the machines' IPs they can access from and run reports. This has given our clients a tremendous degree of comfort with the Citi FX electronic offering, as well as with our mobile trading suite," says Velocity's global product manager, Al Saeed.