GW Platt Foreign Exchange Provider Awards 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic created some waves in the foreign exchange markets over the last couple of years, but the re-emergence of global inflation and inflation-fighting central banks has truly rocked the currency world this year.

After more than a decade of relatively calm markets, volatility is back with a vengeance in the FX markets. As the Federal Reserve and then other central banks began raising interest rates this year, currencies began to fluctuate wildly. That’s good news for professional traders but not for corporate executives looking to hit their numbers. The average hit to earnings from currency fluctuations for North American companies in the second quarter was $0.10 per share, according to Kyriba. The treasury management advisor suggests that companies should aim to keep the FX impact on earnings at a penny or less per share.

“The volatility this year has been extraordinary,” says Andy Gage, senior vice-president at Kyriba. “It’s been bigger than the 2008-2009 period and it’s had the biggest impact [on corporate financials] that I’ve ever seen.”

Kyriba tracks the FX exposures of 1200 publicly traded multinational companies in North America and Europe with at least 15% of their revenue coming from overseas. In the second quarter, those companies experienced a record impact of $49.1 billion on their reported earnings. Of that gross impact, $11.8 billion were favorable tailwinds—almost entirely experienced by European companies—and $37.3 were negative headwinds.

With the surge in the US dollar since the Federal Reserve Board began raising interest rates early this year, the value of foreign earnings has plummeted for US reporting companies. They experienced $34.25 billion of the losses in the Kyriba survey and just $220,000 of the gains from currency movements. The European companies saw $11.6 billion in gains and just $3.02 billion of the losses. “We will likely see similar results for the third quarter,” says Gage. “The dollar only started to come off its high point recently.”

The Mighty Dollar

The overwhelming trend in the FX market this year has been the strength of the dollar against virtually every other currency. From the beginning of March, when the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates through early October, the US dollar rose 15% against the Euro, 25% against the British pound and a staggering 30% against the Japanese yen. With the US dollar involved in nearly 90% of foreign exchange transactions, it explains the high volatility this year.

“US companies who have overseas supply chains and sell domestically have probably done alright,” said Alain Kamagi, managing partner of UNTL Capital, an investment firm focused on foreign exchange. “A strong dollar is great when you’re sourcing supply overseas but it’s bad if you’re exporting.”

Big software companies have been notable casualties. Microsoft took a hit of $595 million to revenues in the June quarter from currency exposure and Salesforce expects a negative impact of $600 million on revenues for 2022.

Kamagi thinks that most multinational companies don’t manage their FX risks very well and were not prepared for the explosion in volatility this year. “For the last 10 to 12 years, we’ve had low unemployment, low inflation and near zero interest rates. There was little need for hedging,” he said. “Now it’s a necessity.”

In Search of a Cheaper Hedge

Unfortunately, the cost of hedging has now shot through the roof. With the rise in interest rates and volatility, hedging has become far more expensive than at the start of the year. For companies that suffered from the run-up in the dollar, paying up more to hedge against further losses may seem like throwing good money after bad. “Since the Fed began raising interest rates, hedging costs for companies have increased for companies by two, three even four times over,” said Kyriba’s Gage. “How to mitigate those costs is a difficult conversation we’re now having with CFOs and treasurers.”

The dollar has already started to fall rapidly after the Federal Reserve signaled a pivot in its rate-hiking cycle. After rising to a high of 114 in October, the dollar currency index (DXY), dropped back to around 105 as of mid-December—still well above the 96 of December 2021. European and Asian companies with significant business in the US market may feel some pain. Gage says that if finance executives are not looking to hedge their FX risks going forward, they are speculating on currencies.

 “Hedging is a cost of doing business internationally. Finance executives with a mandate to manage currency risks want the impact to be as flat as possible,” said Gage. “You want financial results to be predictable.”

There are ways to mitigate hedging costs and it begins with self-examination. Gage advises companies to look at how currencies flow through their business to reduce exposures organically. Many can net their trading exposures and reduce the number and cost of hedging transactions they use.

There are other ways to lower costs, particularly in volatile times. For example, some currencies that move in correlation with another can be used to hedge exposures in the other currency if the first currency is a more liquid, lower-cost market to conduct transactions. The objective is not to hedge exposure 100%, but to set targets for mitigating potential volatility in a cost-effective way. “If you’re 100% hedged, you may never make money,” suggested Kamagi. “Hedging is like insurance. You can buy it for everything in life but then you’ll spend all your money on premiums.”

The most pressing need for most companies is to fully digitize their treasury management systems. That will give them the data needed to manage FX exposures and determine the tax consequences and financial reporting requirements of different strategies rapidly and effectively. “It’s not the horror show that many people think it is,” said Gage. “You need a lot of detailed information, but a lot of these problems are manageable if businesses digitize their treasury function.”

There is no shortage of financial institutions and advisors to help companies get there. They can help companies process payments in scores of currencies and produce detailed data on currency exposures, tax impacts and compliance requirements. They have robust platforms and sophisticated tools like algorithmic trading to enable more effective and less expensive hedging.

FX Market Still Growing

The foreign exchange market remains the largest, most liquid financial market in the world, and it doesn’t look like crypto currency is going to supplant it anytime soon. The daily turnover of spot and derivative foreign exchange transactions hit a record $7.5 trillion in April, according to the triennial survey of FX markets by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That’s up from $6.6CHK trillion from the last BIS survey in 2019.

Most of the increase was due to greater volumes traded between primary dealers in the interbank market as they look to hedge their own massive exposures to global currencies in a more volatile environment. The share of trading volume by non-financial corporate customers fell from 7% to 6% in the last three years. The two authors of the survey surmise that a contraction in overall international investment that began early this year could be to blame.

War, disease, sanctions, geopolitical turmoil, and deteriorating trade relations are all challenging global companies and straining global supply chains. The FX market, however, remains a crucial tool for companies to finance their international trade and hedge their currency risks.

Methodology: Behind the Rankings

Global Finance selects its award winners based on objective factors such as transaction volume, market share, breadth of offerings and global coverage, as detailed in public company documents and media reports.

Our criteria also include subjective factors such as reputation, thought leadership, customer service and technology innovation, using input from industry analysts, surveys, corporate executives and others. Although entries are not required in order to win, decision-making can be informed by submissions that provide additional insight.




As many saw the extraordinary challenges faced by the global economy in 2022 as a moment to play it safe, BBVA, the winner of the Best Global Foreign Exchange Bank award again for 2023, saw a unique growth opportunity. In the face of currency challenges that ranged from a 40-year-high US dollar to the war in Ukraine, the Spanish giant dug deep into its market expertise and strategic global positioning to provide its customers with best-in-class foreign exchange (FX) services. And the strategy paid off. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the FX market saw several daily traded volume records during the year, leading to solid profitability from those banks that displayed the ability and vision to seize the opportunity in a crisis.

According to the bank’s latest data, BBVA traded an outstanding global volume of roughly $1.3 trillion year-to-date, as of November 22, 2022; up from $1.2 trillion during the same period a year earlier. This helped the bank achieve a 26.7% year-on-year (YoY) increase in operating income between January and September 2022. But none of those achievements would have been possible without its staff and a full selection of FX products and services, including Swift GO, FX Net Cash, and BBVA eMarkets, which were key for clients of all sizes from all geographies.

“Our investments in technology have qualified us to tackle years with uniquely volatile FX environments, such as 2020, 2021 and 2022. By applying those solutions to our business, we have been able to continue providing top client service across the whole value chain,” says Luis Martins, head of global macro at BBVA.


Societe Generale

Against extreme volatility levels faced by corporates worldwide in 2022, Societe Generale (SG) excelled by designing bespoke risk management solutions for developed, emerging and frontier markets. Through a healthy mixture of technology and market expertise, the French bank enabled its customers to safely hedge risks in more than 60 currencies by securing much-needed liquidity margins amid challenging macroeconomic conditions.

SG’s leadership in FX algorithmic execution, through its trademark TWAP+, NIGHTJAR and FALCON strategies, was vital in providing customers with a strategic edge over the competition.

Another vital factor for corporate success in 2022 was SG’s sales team, which managed to develop several strategic partnerships with its FX clients. The strategy is part of a broader, companywide effort to support its corporate department. This led the bank to report significant YoY growth in the division’s operating income, according to its latest earnings statement.

Last year, SG also focused on broadening global coverage and capabilities. While the FX spotlight shone on the shrinking dollar-to-euro differential, the bank grew its market share in Africa and Latin America by bringing top-in-class solutions for the region’s corporates. However, that doesn’t mean that the bank overlooked its European home market. On the contrary, SG was key to several prominent FX transactions in dollars, euros, Swiss francs, Czech korunas, and Hungarian forints. All those efforts helped the bank post record traded volumes in many locations and for its total operation.       


JP Morgan

Market makers earn their keep in volatile environments; last year has been the most volatile since the 2008 financial crisis. JP Morgan, the largest participant in global FX markets, with a nearly 11% share of total volume, is crucial to smoothly functioning, liquid currency markets.

From a customer’s perspective, the best market maker is theoretically one that bids the most to buy a currency while offering to sell that currency at the lowest price. In other words, the best market maker has the tightest bid/offer spread. In times of volatility, those spreads necessarily widen to make up for the greater risks that the market maker is taking.

What makes JP Morgan so crucial to the currency markets is its size. With its enormous capital, it can continuously quote buy and sell prices for currencies, even in the most volatile environments. It also has the most extensive liquidity pool of client banks, corporations, and investment funds in the market, giving it the best chance of executing client orders of all sizes internally at reasonable prices.



Corporations worldwide will agree that trusting their FX provider’s capacity to provide liquidity in a time of need is one of the most vital characteristics they look for in a bank. However, with the global FX market posting several daily volume records during a highly volatile year for developed and emerging market currencies, that mission has been more challenging than ever.

In 2022, success in the FX market required a sound balance between global positioning, effective risk management, and solid liquidity reserves in many different currencies—all the main qualities possessed by Global Finance’s Best Liquidity Bank, Santander. 

The Spanish-based giant recorded phenomenal growth in markets as diverse as the UK, Brazil, Spain and Uruguay, all on the back of a global strategy designed to facilitate currency integration, securing its reserves throughout the year’s ups and downs. “Our Global Markets business is a strategic pillar for Santander and the group. This appointment will help us leverage our global capabilities and accelerate growth,” says José Linares, global head of Santander Corporate and Investment Bank (Santander CIB).

Another secret behind Santander’s market leadership is its flagship Santander CIB FX solutions, a risk management app that aids clients in their financing and investment needs. It complements the bank’s day-to-day trading platform.


Crown Agents Bank

One wouldn’t expect a 190-year-old bank to be one of the world’s leading technology and innovation providers in the FX market. But that is precisely the strategy that Global Finance’s Best FX Bank for Emerging Markets Currencies, Crown Agents Bank, has been deploying under the leadership of CEO Bhairav Trivedi.

The bank has solidified its position as a leading FX wholesale bank for emerging markets through its market-leading digital platform for real-time trading. It has executable prices in more than 100 currencies across over 550 currency pairs. Crown Agents Bank took the emerging markets award by providing an accessible yet full suite of FX, payments, trade finance, and money market services to Supra National Express central banks, financial institutions, governments, NGOs, and select commercial enterprises. According to the bank’s latest financial statement, growth in emerging markets has been significantly higher than in G10 markets since 2019.

As part of its innovation-focused strategy, the UK-based giant has also resorted to critical partnerships in tech, scaling the bank’s FX capabilities with a focus on the fast-moving emerging market. “We were injected with fintech hormones and started to focus on the core payments infrastructure across several emerging and frontier markets,” explains CEO Trivedi. As emerging markets move toward a more digital payment structure, Trivedi expects Crown Agents to deepen its leadership over the coming years.



The most global of the big four US banks remains committed to helping companies do business in the small but fast-growing economies of the world. In 2021, Citi announced it would exit consumer banking in 13 global markets, including designated frontier markets like Vietnam and Bahrain. However, Citi continues to provide a wide range of services and support to wealthy clients, institutional investors and companies looking to start or grow a business in emerging and frontier markets.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions maintains more than 300 regional treasury centers and supports businesses in more than 145 currencies. Overall, Citi employs 60,000 people in the region, which accounts for a quarter of the bank’s profits. It has a presence in 55 markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, does business in

another 52 and supports payments in 68 different currencies. It provides direct custody and clearing in 34 markets and has access to 5,000 correspondent networks in Africa alone—an essential resource in many small, less developed markets. Citi also has a presence in 20 markets in Latin America, and its largest business in North America.

As a technology innovator, Citi also helps businesses operate in smaller markets. In 2021, it partnered with treasury management provider Kyriba to create a payment system for consumer goods company THG to enable it to make payments through digital wallets rather than through banking infrastructure. All the company now needs to make a payment in one of 20 different currencies in almost 200 markets is an email address … very convenient for a company doing business in 169 markets, many of which have limited banking infrastructure.              


BNP Paribas

As the risk-off environment of 2022 prompted investors to indiscriminately lower bond purchases worldwide, the formerly thriving environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment market witnessed its first setback of a decade, with well over $125 billion in ESG fund downgrades—and the perspective of many more on the horizon.

But amid this sea of red, the Paris-headquartered BNP Paribas held to its decades-long belief in sustainable finance and secured impressive numbers for the year, deepening its market leadership in ESG-linked debt. According to its latest report, the bank plans to issue 350 billion euros (about $372 billion) of sustainable bonds and loans between 2022 and 2025.

None of those numbers would have been possible without the cooperation of the bank’s FX division. As the euro faced unseen instability due to the growing interest rate spread between the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve and the energy crisis due to the Ukrainian war, investors were prompted to avoid long-term debt in the European currency. This, in turn, translated into a particular headwind to the global ESG market, as the old continent remains the center of the ESG business.

That’s where BNP Paribas’ strong global presence and market knowledge played a pivotal role. With top-tier hedging services and an FX division that has always worked collaboratively with its ESG team, corporates worldwide were able to counter many of those risks. Furthermore, the bank’s patterned multiproduct FX trading, Cortex FX, and ALiX, a digital trading assistant, also helped division integration, leading to a less risky ESG-linked FX environment



In 2022, commodity producers worldwide needed FX market expertise as they had only a few times before. As food and energy prices soared at the fastest pace in a decade—before subsiding into year-end—and European currencies lost significant ground against the dollar, securing healthy margins grew increasingly challenging.

Amid such a complex scenario, Global Finance’s Best FX Commodity Trading Bank of 2023, Rabobank, dug deep into its solid FX product line and key market positioning to provide the industry’s corporates with best-in-class services.

Its leading global positioning supports them in the agricultural market; the Dutch bank combined state-of-the-art FX trading and hedging technology with market analysis designed to give its customers a significant edge over the competition. Moreover, Rabobank’s award-winning research team helped its customers anticipate many important trends in commodities and FX markets. That’s perhaps why the bank’s latest earnings report noted FX as a key factor in its 2022 net profitability growth. With a 10% YoY increase in its Food and Agriculture portfolio, Rabobank secured phenomenal success against the year’s macroeconomic environment.

Another essential secret behind the bank’s success is its relentless pursuit of innovation, which has become the focus of the bank’s operation under the leadership of Alexander Zwart, its head of digital transformation. “Agility brings transparency, transparency increases control, and being in control enables you to advance and innovate faster,” explains Zwart. “Increased transparency allows the organization to make better decisions.”


Bank of America

Pandemics, wars, rising prices and interest rates, and economic growth slowing around the world. None of these are good for trade or trade finance.

Although global trade recovered rapidly last year from the sharp Covid-19-induced falloff of 2020, today the outlook is deteriorating. The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently lowered its estimate of growth in global merchandise trade volume to just 1% in 2023, from an earlier forecast of 3.4%.

Global banks like Bank of America (BofA) will be a big factor in how significant the slowdown ends up becoming. Trade finance products play a crucial role in reducing companies’ risks when engaging in foreign trade—particularly in times of volatility. The risks of nonpayment, late payment, nonreceipt of goods, and fluctuating currencies, as well as in-transit risks are always a concern for both importers and exporters.

Whether working capital loans, simple lines of credit, letters of credit spelling out terms for transactions to be executed, bank guarantees or receivables factoring to raise needed cash, trade finance tools facilitate transactions and keep global trade humming, the WTO estimates that between 80% and 90% of world trade depends on trade finance solutions to get done.

With a presence in over 30 countries, BofA offers a comprehensive suite of trade finance options in all regions. It has a corps of industry-focused specialists that tailor product offerings to businesses. It also has extensive experience with export and development agencies that can provide alternative sources of capital for companies and lower the overall cost of financing trade.

The bank is a trailblazer in the move to digitization in the industry. Its CashPro Trade platform allows importers and exporters greater visibility on their global operations. It also speeds up supplier onboarding, improves cash needs forecasting and helps optimize working capital management.      




A diverse portfolio of foreign exchange (FX) services and a wide reach across Africa, hinged on cross networks with subsidiaries in European markets has helped Attijariwafa, the biggest bank in Morocco, win this year’s award as Best Foreign Exchange Bank in the region.

Based in Morocco—with subsidiaries in Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Benin, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and most recently in Chad—Attijariwafa’s risk appetite framework favors customer activities over own-account activities.

The bank has been revamping its FX-service offerings, yielding an increase in its foreign currency assets to $3.5 billion for the half year to June 30, 2022, over $2.2 billion in the half year to June 2021.

These include loans and advances to credit institutions and similar establishments, trading securities and available-for-sale securities, cash and balances with central banks and treasury departments, and loans and advances to customers. This outstrips its FX liabilities of $2 billion for the same half of 2022.

Income from Attijariwafa’s FX activities amounted to $76 million for the June 2022 half-year period, an increase from the $49.3 million recorded for the same period a year earlier.

Outside of Africa, the bank also has subsidiaries or offices in the European countries of Belgium, France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Switzerland; and beyond Europe in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Montreal. This has helped Attijariwafa to facilitate foreign currency deals and trades for its African clients in large volumes and with better terms.

Its spot and forward FX, FX swaps, structured products, commodities and foreign currency deposit services have been supported by a professional team dedicated to providing the best level of service to corporate, retail and institutional FX clients across its African markets.



Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is one of the five largest listed companies on the Australian Securities Exchange, one of the top four banks in Australia and the largest retail bank in New Zealand. The bank has banking relationships with nearly 50% of New Zealanders.

ANZ Australia focused in 2022 on improving FX service in two aspects: first, infrastructure enhancement enabling continuous pricing customization and low-latency pricing distribution for its electronic FX (eFX) services; second, customer experience betterment through simplifying the FX online transaction platform.

While ANZ Australia offers comprehensive FX services to both corporate and individual clients, ANZ New Zealand’s FX service is centered on understanding and responding to its individual clients’ needs. ANZ New Zealand has had two notable success stories in 2022. First, setting out a work plan and framework for implementing the Te Ao Mori strategy through 2040 so that ANZ’s future FX services development will meet the needs of the indigenous people of Aotearoa—the Mori name for New Zealand. Second, the continuation of free international outbound money transfer service (via banking app or internet banking) to the Pacific Islands. The remittance fee could otherwise have accounted for up to 25% of a household’s income. The savings are significant for these families, particularly during the pandemic.


Societe Generale

Societe Generale (SG), once again the award winner as Best Foreign Exchange Bank in Central and Eastern Europe, is no stranger to the region, with a substantial presence in 15 countries. That includes direct ownership of major banks in such countries as Romania (BRD) and the Czech Republic (Komercni Banka, our winner as Best Foreign Exchange Bank in that country), as well as a network of over 2500 branches. This, along with a long record of handling FX for financial, corporate, private and state-owned clients during times of rapid change and an acknowledged trading capability in frontier and illiquid currencies, have helped push it ahead of its rivals.

A considerable global strength (SG has over 25 million clients across 66 countries) and an innate capacity for innovation have also held it in good stead, enabling traders to add the convenience, speed and accuracy of cutting-edge technology to their expertise, to the benefit of a growing client base.

SG Markets provides clients with specially tailored digital pre- to post-trade solutions: SG’s FX Event Tracker enables monitoring the implied prices of risk events, including elections and economic announcements; the FX Vol Wizard and FX Eagle Eye, respectively, identify FX market opportunities and optimize the cost of Spot FX executions. Meanwhile SG’s live transaction cost analysis enables tracking the performance of Spot FX algorithmic executions in real time.



With currency markets turning their attention to the developed world amid tightening cycles of the US, UK and European Central Bank, BBVA found great success in the flourishing emerging market of Latin America. Few currencies matched the dollar’s incredible performance this year, but most of those that did were in Latin America. BBVA’s solid strategic presence across the continent helped the bank take advantage of that trend, positioning its clients always one step ahead of the competition.

With its widely recognized FX solutions, including the Swift Go and its FX mobile app for enterprise clients, BBVA was able to support customers of all sizes, from the region’s small and midsize enterprises to its major corporations. Furthermore, BBVA’s award-winning FX team played a key role in helping the bank deliver a successful mixture of strategy and market intelligence to its customers.

“At BBVA, we have continued working on meeting our clients’ needs, making sure that our strategy is fully aligned with theirs,” says Luis Martins, head of Global Macro at BBVA. “By continuing to adapt our value proposition to them, we have been able to compete at the top level within the FX industry,” he concludes.


National Bank of Kuwait

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) is the winner of the Best Foreign Exchange Bank in the Middle East award due to its strong and improving FX product and service delivery. NBK is one of the most internationally represented of all Middle Eastern banks, with operations in 15 countries. NBK has majority ownership in the UK-based Bank of London and the Middle East; while branches in New York, Paris and Geneva, and presence in China and Africa, are important to the FX service. Its subsidiary Boubyan Bank, an Islamic financial institution, helps diversify its product range. NBK is the primary banker for local blue-chip companies and serves 75% of the Kuwaiti market. The bank has a 30% market share in trade finance. Both factors give it an important strength in the Middle Eastern FX market and trade flows. NBK is a pioneer in innovative products and services and capitalizes on the latest technologies, including developing Kuwait’s first digital bank.

NBK’s group treasury has performed well recently, supported by a strong funding position together with an overall robust financial profile. The bank also successfully implemented a new treasury investment and booking system. FX fee income increased as volumes strengthened. Correspondent banking services are significant, including multicurrency services for payments, cash management and trade finance together with custody and brokerage.


JP Morgan

Size matters when it comes to supporting the global payments and risk management processes of corporations operating in dozens of markets. JP Morgan, the fifth-largest bank in the world, is the largest currency trader, with a nearly 11% share of global FX trading volume. It supports transactions in more than 120 currencies and offers trading in more than 300 currency pairs.

The bank’s FX management solutions for multinational corporations are usually part of a broader offering of finance, payments processing, compliance and cash management. However, its FX services are flexible enough to integrate into the treasury workflows of businesses of any size.

JP Morgan’s huge ongoing investment in technologies like FX application programming interfaces enables fully automated straight-through FX trade processing and gives companies better visibility into their foreign currency risks. It employs intelligent order-routing across multiple electronic communication networks to get the best prices on trades. It also has an extensive FX algorithm suite to enable fast and efficient execution of a variety of currency trading strategies. With robust pre- and post-trade analytics, customers can also quickly evaluate their trading strategies and hedge performance.



As Europe regained the spotlight in the 2022 global FX market on the back of a shrinking euro-to-dollar differential and the war in Ukraine, UBS used its 160-year experience and strong global positioning to help clients excel amid extraordinary volatility. Not only did the Swiss-based bank maintain its solid position as the top FX bank in Europe, but it also managed to transform this year’s headwinds into effective growth. UBS stepped up its game to reach a nearly 10% share of the global FX market—its largest on record, according to Euromoney. As European corporates struggled to maintain currency security amid a volatile year on the continent, the bank’s trademark FX algorithmic strategies provided a significant edge for its clients.

Another factor behind UBS’ fantastic year was the bank’s incessant investment in technology, allowing it to offer a wide selection of top-of-the-line products to clients across Europe and the world. “We engage with our clients proactively to provide thought leadership on the evolving eFX market structure driven by regulation, automation and increasing product scope,” comments Ozgun Unal, UBS’ head of eFX Distribution in the UK.