Attached here is the CFTC’s Financial Data report for FCMs, sorted by Segregated Funds Required: 2016 Year-End CFTC FCM Fin’l Data
For comparison’s sake, linked here is the same report from 2015 year-end.
What we’ve learned:
- there were just 65 FCMs registered at CFTC as of 2016 year-end; in November 2016 there was 66 (State Street has left); there were 75 FCMs registered with CFTC at the end of 2015.
- there were 55 U.S. FCMs who cleared customer business at the end of 2016, the same number as there was at the end of 2015.
- the amount of Customer Seg assets required jumped, year-over-year: in December 2015, there was $148,435,850,345 in Customer Seg; in December 2016 that figure jumped to $160,295,996,895, or roughly $12 billion more assets in Customer Seg. That’s an increase of 8%, which is encouraging.
- The concentrations at the top remain largely unchanged:
- in 2015, 51.58 of the Customer Seg funds were held at the top five FCMs (Goldman, JP Morgan, SocGen, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch); in 2016 that figure was 52.69%
- in 2015 the top 10 FCMs held just over 73% of the Customer Seg funds; in 2016 that figure was just under 74%.
Summary: the rising amount of Customer Seg funds being traded in the U.S. is a positive sign; I think that the concentration among just ten FCMs is a cause for worry. I also think that the dwindling number of FCMs is a cause for genuine alarm.
I’d be interested in learning your thoughts, though, too. So drop them in the comments.