Hedge funds are to be given access to a new currency-trading platform set up by a dozen leading global banks.
ParFX, which launched in April, will begin to "allow customers to trade through their prime broker" in the coming months, Roger Rutherford, the platform's chief operating officer, told Reuters. But those new clients will be subject to the same rules as the banks that set up and use ParFX—rules designed to blunt the impact of high-frequency traders.
"We understand that certain types of trading behavior exist because they have a mask of anonymity," Rutherford said. "This will not be the case at ParFX—buy-side firms that trade on our platform will be subject to the same rules, compliance and full transparency as existing players."
"Controls will be given to the prime brokers so that there is an elegant way to control and act on behalf of their clients."
ParFX and its founding banks, among them Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and UBS, say that the platform is designed to "level the playing field" in currency trading, with equal fees and conditions for all traders. It hopes to compete with the two leading foreign-exchange platforms, run by EBS and Reuters.