Changes to WM/Reuters London Fix Rate Calculation Period Delayed Until 2015

Amongst the fallout of the was an interest from participants in the foreign exchange industry to change how closing rates are calculated. Among ideas being floated was the expanding of the 4PM London period to evaluate currency prices for calculating the fix rate from one to five minutes.

Widening the period from one to five minutes would make it more difficult for traders to front run clients and collude on prices as there would be an expanded duration for filling orders, with fewer trades being squeezed into the closing seconds before the fix.

According to the WSJ, an internal memo from WM Company revealed that the index benchmarking firm was delaying the implementation of widening the fix calculation period to five minutes. Together with Reuters, WM Company is responsible for aggregating foreign exchange pricing data which is used for calculating and publishing its daily FX fix rates.

Initial expectations were that a change in the calculation duration would take place on December 14th. However, a spokesperson from WM Company indicated to the WSJ that due to foreign exchange participants requesting more time to prepare for the change, any alterations to calculating the rate would be delayed until February 2015.

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