Business Banking The foreign exchange trader: ‘the closer you get to 4pm, the less the risk’

Caspar Marney, a veteran of forex desks, now teaches others how the impenetrable markets work

“Banks don’t have to beat the market to make money. They just have to beat their customers.”

So says Caspar Marney, a foreign exchange trader of about 20 years’ experience, including spells at major City banks such as UBS and HSBC.

The former paratrooper has been playing those markets using his own statistical methods on behalf of private clients since 1999, and gives lectures to others keen to learn how this impenetrable scene really works – which seems to be in a very different way to how most of us imagined.

On Tuesday, Bank of England governor Mark Carney admitted that allegations of exploitation in foreign exchange markets could prove to be a bigger scandal than the manipulation of Libor, following last year’s revelations that the £3tn-a-day global trade in currencies might have been rigged.

“A bank’s spot [currency trading] desk doesn’t generally beat the market,” Marney adds. “They extract profit from their orders. Orders are information. Every bit of information stacks the deck. And the closer you get to 4pm, the less the risk [of the price moving against you].”


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