Swiss banking institution Credit Suisse has stopped voluntarily disclosing the amount of trading volume on its Crossfinder platform, the world’s largest dark pool, highlighting the debate over the transparency of U.S. equities markets. Last year, FXCM entered into a joint venture with Credit Suisse and a newly established ECN under the FastMatch designation.
While FastMatch is packaged as an ECN, in terms of its operation it is really a pricing engine whose original technology was initially used for the equity world. Although equity trading is centralized with an exchange system, the order flow is fragmented with numerous ECNs operating around the main order books. This led to the creation of trading platforms that can not only send orders to the ‘top of book’ but distinguish the best venue tat which to execute an order.
Dark pools have shown considerable increases in volumes in recent times, North America’s increase being a particularly firm example of the popularity of using dark pools as executing venues. Last year, equities volume on dark pools in the United States was at record levels, and technology companies such as FlexTrade began offering dark pool access to FX participants.