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Industry roundup: 17 April 2020

Greenwich Associates names banks best in volatile FX markets

The massive spike in volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a nearly unprecedented climb in the value of the dollar has left market participants scrambling for cover. As they move to respond, large financial institutions are likely to turn first to dealers among the 2020 Greenwich Share Leaders, including Citi, J.P. Morgan and UBS in Global Financials FX, along with HSBC for Emerging Markets. Many large companies will rely on Citi, HSBC and J.P. Morgan - the 2020 Greenwich Share Leaders in FX Trading among Corporates.

Based on client ratings of dealer performance in 2019 - prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the current financial market crisis - J.P. Morgan is the FX dealer that earns the most recognition from top-tier financial institutions globally when it comes to providing consistent quotes and execution in volatile markets. Citi is next, followed closely by UBS, HSBC and Goldman Sachs. Among corporates, HSBC is viewed as strongest in these terms, barely edging out a closely bunched group that includes J.P. Morgan, Citi and BofA Securities.

Libra Association applies for Swiss payments licence

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA, has received an application from the Geneva-based Libra Association for a payment system licence. This marks the start of the licensing process under Swiss supervisory law. The outcome and duration of the procedure remain open. Libra is the digital currency proposed by Facebook.

FINMA confirms that it has received an application for a payment system licence under the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA) from the Libra Association (Libra) on the basis of an updated whitepaper. As is usual for new projects and start-up licences, the application is not complete in all particulars, but allows FINMA’s formal licensing process to commence. The application filed differs considerably from the project originally submitted, e.g. with a view to the Libra payment system also supporting single-currency stable coins as well as the multi-currency Libra payment token. FINMA will now thoroughly analyse the application. As provided by the FMIA, it will impose extra requirements for additional services that pose increased risks. This applies in particular to bank-like risks. In addition, FINMA will give special consideration to whether strict national and international standards for payment infrastructures and also for combatting money laundering can be upheld.

C2FO chosen by Danone to support its suppliers

Global food firm Danone will now offer C2FO to its suppliers. C2FO is an international marketplace for working capital. The C2FO platform allows Danone suppliers that would like to be paid in advance rather than at terms, to offer a discount rate of their choice for outstanding, approved invoices.

Danone will be able to optimise its cash flow without risk by making it available to its suppliers in need of liquidity. Its suppliers, on the other hand, will reduce their average time to payment. C2FO says that, in 2019, suppliers reduced the time it takes to collect their invoices by an average of 26 days. The firm says that is a significant figure considering that the average payment term threshold is approximately 60 days globally, and is higher in many sectors.

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