Regulation and technology topped the agenda at the FX Week Europe conference in London on November 21, and according to senior market participants interviewed on the sidelines, they will continue to be the biggest challenges for the FX market in 2013.
"Regulation has increased the cost of doing business for all market participants. I think the focus for the FX market, and frankly for all markets, will be on the real cost of doing business; trying to find ways to manage costs effectively to keep markets moving forward," says David Puth, chief executive of CLS.
Corporate treasurers also voiced their concerns, both about the costs arising from regulation and the challenges of technology development. Douglas Pelton, treasury manager for liquidity and risk management at Lufthansa, describes a technology optimisation programme the airline has undertaken this year, implementing a new electronic platform to streamline its currency hedging processes.
Neil Record, executive chairman of Record Currency Management, delivered the afternoon keynote address at the conference, and spoke to FX Week afterwards about his concern that the eurozone continues to move in the direction of a break-up, due to a clash of ideologies and economic reality.
"My opinion for the future of the eurozone is, sadly, continuous crisis and then probably a disorderly break-up at some point when one or more of the members decide they don't want it any more," says Record.
Other speakers interviewed include David Mercer, chief executive of LMAX Exchange; Adam Hawley, commercial director at Caplin Systems; and Marc Aspinall, head of global sales at ADS Securities.
"The challenge is serving an increasing number of end users who want to deal online. There's a massive growth in demand for better user experience and greater trading services than have been available to-date," says Hawley.