Best Banks Awards: UBS

UBS has been voted the winner of the Best Bank for Swiss Franc category at the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards

Philip Bear
“We have a very diverse flow mix in the franc," says Philip Bear, global head of G10 FX and spot precious metals at UBS

At the height of the eurozone crisis in 2011, the Swiss National Bank took the radical step of installing a minimum exchange rate floor in EUR/CHF in a bid to stem the Swiss franc’s upward move as investors fled to the safety of the currency. The floor was scrapped in January 2015, causing a wide shock to foreign exchange markets.

“From a liquidity standpoint there has been a gradual normalisation since 2015, but conditions can still be challenging at times, as we briefly saw in the second quarter of this year on the EUR/CHF rally back above 1.20,” says Philip Bear, global head of G10 FX and spot precious metals at UBS

Earlier this year, Switzerland held a referendum on the Vollgeld initiative, which sought to fundamentally change the role played by banks in the Swiss monetary system by looking to limit the amount of lending they can conduct, and leaving the creation of money in the hands of the central bank alone. The proposal was rejected overwhelmingly by the Swiss people.

The announcement of the referendum led to broad-based franc selling, but local corporate demand for the currency limited the move down, Bear says, leading to improved liquidity conditions. This year, UBS, which maintains a significant electronic-trading presence through its single-dealer platform, Neo, has been concentrating on refining its sales coverage and risk management capabilities.

…we have rolled out a new pricing model in e-FX, which has enabled us to strengthen our API franchise, while our single-dealer platform, Neo, continues to win industry awards
Philip Bear, UBS

UBS has been voted the winner of the Best Bank for Swiss Franc in the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards – a trophy it has held since 2010.

“We’re in a very good place now to meet client needs in terms of our sales coverage model between high-touch advisory and execution,” says Bear.   

UBS maintains a global team of experienced voice traders for larger tickets and high-touch clients executing with it on a principal basis. But, the bank has also invested in its technology this year, rolling out a new pricing model in FX that allows the dealer to expand its footprint in the API client base.

“On the trading side, we have an experienced voice team, focused on large-ticket execution and risk management, and we have rolled out a new pricing model in e-FX, which has enabled us to strengthen our API franchise, while our single-dealer platform, Neo, continues to win industry awards,” Bear says.

Machine learning

In the algo space, UBS launched Orca-Direct this year, which uses machine learning to source the best liquidity across multiple external venues for immediate market orders. 

“It has been well received by clients and builds on our strength in more passive order types,” says Bear.

“We have a very diverse flow mix in the franc, given our strong wealth-management platform, in addition to local corporates, and we’d like to think that we remain the go-to bank for [the] Swiss franc for our global institutional clients as well,” he adds.  

 

Interviews with the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards winners

 

JP Morgan

Best Bank Overall for Foreign Exchange Dealing

Best Bank for FX for Banks

Best Bank for FX for Investors

Best Bank for Spot FX

Best Bank for FX Forwards

Best Bank for EUR/USD

Best Bank for USD/JPY

Best Bank for EUR/JPY

Best Bank for E-Trading

 

Citi

Best Bank for FX for Corporates

Best Bank for Currency Options

Best Bank for Structured Products

Best Bank for FX Prime Brokerage

Best Bank for FX in North America

Best Bank for Emerging European, Middle Eastern and African Currencies

Best Bank for FX Research and Strategy

 

HSBC

Best Bank for FX in Asia-Pacific

Best Bank for Renminbi

Best Bank for Emerging Asian Currencies

 

Deutsche Bank

Best Bank for FX in the Eurozone

 

ANZ

Best Bank for Australian Dollar

 

Barclays

Best Bank for GBP/USD

Best Bank for EUR/GBP

Best Bank for FX in London

 

UBS

Best Bank for Swiss Franc

 

NatWest Markets

Best Bank for FX Post-Trade Services

 

360T

Best Professional e-Trading Venue

Best Vendor for Dealing Technology

 

Refinitiv

Best Broker for Forward FX

Best Broker for Emerging Markets FX

 

LCH

Best FX Clearing House

 

EBS

Best Broker for Spot FX

 

Bloomberg

Best Market Data Provider for FX

 

Danske Bank

Best Bank for Scandinavian Currencies

 

Standard Bank

Best Bank for South African Rand

Best Bank for African Currencies excluding ZAR

 

BMO Capital Markets

Best Bank for Canadian Dollar

 

Banco Santander

Best Bank for Emerging Latin American Currencies

 

kACE

Best Vendor for Risk Management/Options Pricing Software

 

Saxo Bank

Best Prime-of-Prime House

 

BGC (no interview)

Best Broker for Currency Options

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