London has once again been named the world’s leading foreign exchange trading venue according to new figures.
According to the figures, which were analysed by Reuters and are based on the latest central bank data, average daily trading volumes for foreign exchange in the Square Mile rose by 23 per cent year-on-year in 2017.
Traders mainly in London handled £2.1 trillion on a normal April day, more than double the $994bn for the US, most of which was carried out in New York.
Foreign exchange volumes rose during 2017 as firms tried to protect against swings in currency driven by a volatile political environment.
Transaction volumes in New York and Hong Kong also rose by 11 per cent and 10 per cent year-on-year respectively, but remained well below London. Volumes at the third-biggest jurisdiction, Singapore, fell by five per cent.
The figures suggest London may have arrested a previous decline in its share of the market, under pressure from Asian financial centres in particular and shows that the UK is likely to retain this strong position well into the future.
Jeremy Thomson-Cook, chief economist at London-based payments firm World First, said the increasing use of currencies as a “barometer for political risk” is one of the driving factors behind higher volumes. Meanwhile, the UK is “blessed by geography”, with daylight hours coinciding with trading in both Asia and the US.
Catherine McGuinness, the policy chairman of the City of London Corporation, said: “The data makes clear that London leads the world when it comes to foreign exchange.
“Anything which damages this, such as a location policy on euro-denominated clearing – which could fragment this sub-sector across the Continent – would likely have negative cost implications for households and businesses in the UK and the EU.”