Best Bank Awards: Barclays

Barclays is voted Best bank for GBP/USD at the 2019 FX Week Best Bank Awards

Ian Tew - Barclays - web.jpg
Ian Tew: “We’ve gone above and beyond to make sure we have a full understanding of Brexit and everything UK-related”

Economic data and fundamentals used to be foremost for traders when navigating foreign exchange markets. Today, geopolitics and tweets may have trumped that – no pun intended – and currency traders at Barclays are not afraid to admit they spend more time poring over messages of at least 140 characters, perhaps more than they would like to.

“In recent years, we’ve traded politics and had to read Twitter far more than we ever had to before,” says Ian Tew, head of G10 FX spot trading at Barclays.

The thought of serious bankers looking for insight on Twitter makes one chuckle. But, as so-called populism gains a foothold in major economies such as the US and the UK, and as some world leaders engage in Twitter diplomacy, the drive towards understanding the political backdrops of countries has been in clear focus for traders.

Attention to those details has given Barclays an edge and the bank has the receipts to prove it. Clients have once again voted Barclays the Best bank for GBP/USD at the 2019 FX Week Best Bank Awards.

“We’ve gone above and beyond to make sure we have a full understanding of Brexit and everything UK-related, so we’re the go-to bank for sterling and sterling FX – both from an expertise perspective, but also knowledge of liquidity, how the market is trading, how the market is thinking and how we would look to trade sterling on the back of various events,” says Tew.

The geopolitical landscape in the UK has been so fluid that Tew and his team found themselves pondering what would be next and how sterling would react in each scenario, and they communicated those analyses to clients on a daily basis. Where uncertainty might have bred frustration for some, at Barclays it fostered a different kind of thinking around client solutions and flexibility towards resolving each need.

We always want to be at the front of the field and cement Barclays as a top-ranking FX house
Ian Tew, Barclays

“People come to us, as a UK bank, and expect us to be there and have strong knowledge to offer our clients,” he adds. “We’ve looked to provide expertise, not just from a trading perspective but also some of the broader offerings that we have; for example, our government relations team. That’s differentiating for our business and we’re always innovating around sterling.”

It looks like it’s paying off. Tew says the bank’s revenues have been ticking up year-on-year, indicating it could be gaining some market share from competitors.

But Barclays is out for more now. In addition to committing investment in electronic trading technology, the bank has hired traders with deep knowledge of China, Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa at its London office, and a Latin America trader in New York as emerging markets remain a priority.

“We always want to be at the front of the field and cement Barclays as a top-ranking FX house. That’s where we feel we belong,” Tew says.

The full list of winners of the 2019 FX Week Best Banks Awards

  • LinkedIn  
  • Save this article
  • Print this page  

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact [email protected] or view our subscription options here: http://subscriptions.fxweek.com/subscribe

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact [email protected] to find out more.

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a FX Week account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an indvidual account here: