Best Banks Awards: Bloomberg

Bloomberg wins the Best Market Data Provider for FX category at the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards

Colin Gallagher, global head of FX data and analytics at Bloomberg, says clients are asking for more cryptocurrency data

The lure of cryptocurrencies is proving too strong for institutional market participants to reject. True, custody and settlement are just two of the issues holding back the process of institutionalisation, but the attraction of the extremely fragmented, volatile and unstructured crypto space is nudging it towards maturity. 

Bloomberg, one of the world’s largest market data providers is no exception. It started displaying crypto prices on its Terminal in early 2014, garnering a slow but steady stream of interest from customers.

“That’s rapidly changed throughout 2017 and this year, with a lot more clients asking for connectivity to more data and exchanges in the space,” says Colin Gallagher, global head of FX data and analytics at Bloomberg, the winner of the Best Market Data Provider for FX category at the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards.

Gallagher says the company had to work quite actively to build out the Know Your Customer, anti-money laundering and other procedural steps, as well as to add the highly fractured underlying cryptocurrency data on to the Bloomberg Terminal. But it eventually even created a crypto index in partnership with Galaxy, in a bid to create a data offering that compares with other asset classes.

The BGCI index is designed to track the performance of the largest, most liquid portion of the cryptocurrency market, weighted by market capitalisation. Bloomberg’s FX team followed up with a crypto fix, dubbed CFix, which is designed for use as a reference point for digital currencies.

Clients are yearning for better and deeper data around crypto, and we are proud that the Terminal has become the landing page for information about the space
Colin Gallagher, Bloomberg

The rate is calculated daily, with Bloomberg’s BGN pricing algorithm providing the primary input. The algo produces accurate indications of bid and ask quotes derived from multiple sources approved by the firm.

“Clients are yearning for better and deeper data around crypto, and we are proud that the Terminal has become the landing page for information about the space,” says Gallagher. “We are working on building out a new dataset for crypto that’s comparable to our offering in other established asset classes.”

Bloomberg has also made strides with its FX benchmark, BFix, which became available as part of EBS’s e-fix product this year. BFix’s success is down to the burgeoning market share gains made in recent years by FXGO, the firm’s e-FX platform.

Local markets

Bloomberg has also expanded its footprint in local markets. In April, the Bankers Association of the Philippines selected Bloomberg as the new calculation agent for its USD/PHP spot reference rate, which is used extensively by on- and offshore banks, and buy-side market participants for execution, valuation and portfolio-benchmarking purposes.

The deal also means domestic member banks of BAP have migrated their trading in the peso to FXGO, which provides the input for the reference rate, and gives local regulators real-time visibility and greater oversight of activity in the market.

“Emerging markets have been a great growth story for us this year and we expect this to continue across regions,” Gallagher says.


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



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



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



Best Bank for Australian Dollar



Best Bank for GBP/USD

Best Bank for EUR/GBP

Best Bank for FX in London



Best Bank for Swiss Franc


NatWest Markets

Best Bank for FX Post-Trade Services



Best Professional e-Trading Venue

Best Vendor for Dealing Technology



Best Broker for Forward FX

Best Broker for Emerging Markets FX



Best FX Clearing House



Best Broker for Spot FX



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



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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