FX Markets Best Banks Awards 2020: Best market data provider – Bloomberg


As the threats posed by the Covid‑19 pandemic became increasingly real in early 2020, Bloomberg‘s quick thinking and smart investment allowed market participants to continue trading in FX markets

Emilie Gallagher, Bloomberg
Emilie Gallagher, Bloomberg

At the onset of the turbulence in 2020, Bloomberg quickly began investing in solutions designed to maintain market participants’ access to reliable and consistent data, and sustain their ability to continue trading in FX markets.

As the pandemic-induced volatility spiked in the early parts of the year – and as social distancing measures were rolled out across many parts of the world – market participants were forced to work from home. Having access to high-quality and reliable data was more important than ever.

“Given the environment we were in, Bloomberg made the investments necessary to keep clients up and running and accessing the tools they needed in the environments that they need them in,” explains Emilie Gallagher, global head of commodities and FX core products at Bloomberg, “but we also made investments in improving the workflows, recognising that those environments have changed.”

“Bloomberg gave clients access to the data they needed without interruption as they were transitioning from their offices to working from home,” she says. “We recognised that, within the at-home environment, users’ desktops shrank significantly from having multiple screens to being limited, in some cases, to one desktop or even just a laptop.”

To ensure a seamless transition between working from an office environment to a more home-based one, Bloomberg facilitated greater remote access to the functions of its desktop Terminal, and made sure these functions were also readily available and compatible on personal devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. Bloomberg clients were able to access the Terminal via a subscription to Bloomberg Anywhere or Bloomberg’s Disaster Recovery Service. 

In addition, despite easing restrictions in some parts of the world, the demand for flexible access to the Bloomberg Terminal continued to prove popular as clients only returned to the office on an ad hoc basis or rotated between office and home-working, points out Gallagher.

However, in the end, what was most important to clients was the ability to continue using the same applications and functions regardless of where in the world they were or which medium they were using, she says.  

Improving client workflow amid the disruption

Conscious of the more constrained working environment its clients were compelled to work in, Bloomberg reprioritised its product development road map to accommodate these changing conditions and, over the course of 2020, released several new solutions designed to facilitate day-to-day workflow.

The firm introduced a tab function within its user interface to allow clients to run multiple analytics at the same time within a single Bloomberg Terminal window – a function that clients working on laptops or smaller devices appreciated greatly, says Gallagher.    

Bloomberg, which clients voted the best market data provider at the 2020 FX Markets Best Banks Awards for the fourth year running, also expanded its FX toolkit to allow certain FX analytics functions available on its Terminal to be accessible via application programming interface for use in a spreadsheet environment. This allowed clients to monitor implied FX forward rates in multiple ways, either as standard FX settlement dates or as customised broken dates, and to conduct their own scenarios around those tenors.

“This saves clients a ton of time because, instead of relying on internal applications to run calculations, they can now do that within the Bloomberg environment, which helps them significantly,” says Gallagher.

“Clients now have greater flexibility to look at customised forward rates not normally provided in standard tenors and run scenarios, and calculations in a spreadsheet environment.”

Improving data sources

On the data front, Bloomberg continued to make progress in improving the data sources it uses in the lower-liquidity markets it covers, in addition to those already used for the thousands of spot, forward and non-deliverable forward benchmark fixings it provides its clients.

“We have over 4,500 sources that contribute pricing to Bloomberg, and we continue to focus on bringing more price transparency to those emerging and frontier markets as they evolve, so they become more sophisticated, and increase their electronic trading workflows,” says Gallagher. 

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