What We Do

Why we exist

The Fair and Effective Markets Review (FEMR) was undertaken by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority as a result of serious concerns about poor market practice in the fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) markets. One of its key conclusions was that there was insufficient clear, practical guidance available to market practitioners as to how they should operate in the best interest of their clients.

The FEMR recommended the creation of a new FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) with participation at the most senior levels from a broad cross-section of global and domestic market practitioners and end-users to fill this need for practical guidance.

Among the concerns raised by FEMR were that: market discipline was lacking; market participants failed to recognise that the same types of bad behaviour repeat over time; these behaviours occurred across all asset classes and jurisdictions; they adapted to new media and market structures; and these behaviours were not fully described in laws and regulation.

The review highlighted a ‘regulatory void’ between high-level principles and low-level operational rules which needed to be filled with clearer guidance for market participants. There is also the opportunity to address conduct risks arising in unregulated markets.

FMSB brings together a unique breadth of market participants to identify how more transparent, fair and effective FICC markets can be created. In committees, sub-committees and working groups industry representatives debate issues and create FMSB Standards, Statements of Good Practice and other approved publications for review by our Standards Board.

Delivering our mission

Our mission drives everything we do

Our one aim is to raise standards of conduct in global wholesale FICC markets so that they are more transparent, fair and effective for all participants in those markets.

FMSB’s strategic goals were set in 2015 by FEMR to:

  • Identify global market vulnerabilities
  • Develop best market practice
  • Drive global adherence
  • Develop consistent approaches to market practices

In our strategy we set out our high-level plan to delivery our strategic goals and achieve our mission. Our current strategy is for three years from 2019-2021.

Our strategic priorities are taken from our strategy. We have four strategic priorities for 2020 to:

  • Continue producing best market practice
  • Respond to challenges created by the FICC market structure reforms, in particular screen-based electronic trading, high-frequency trading, and centralised market infrastructures
  • Measure the impact of FMSB Standards
  • Explore the viability of FMSB training programmes

We use our strategic framework to assess the areas where FMSB can add value, for example when identifying priorities from the emerging vulnerabilities horizon scan or issues proposed for work by FMSB committees, sub-committees or working groups.

Our workplan is set annually, at a more granular level so that we are clear on the key projects and tasks that we need to complete during the year to deliver our strategic priorities.

As a network organisation with a small central team, we rely on around 280 or so market practitioners from all disciplines at our member firms for their time, dedication, time, and insight to the work of our committees, sub-committees and working groups. We also benefit from specialist individuals, consultancies and other organisations working on a pro bono basis.

Find out more about who we are Find out more about FMSB Publications

What people say about us

All quotes are taken from the FMSB Annual Report 2019 in the order they appear, and with information correct at the time of publication on 25 February 2020.

A new economy is emerging, driven by immense changes in technology, the reordering of global economic power, and the growing pressures of climate change. This transition needs markets that are effective and fair and that balance innovation and resilience. I support the FMSB’s work to achieve that goal. The private sector is responsible for supporting competition in FICC markets and managing conduct risks. By developing standards on transparency and fairness, the FMSB promotes the new finance needed for the new economy.

Mark Carney
Governor of the Bank of England

The FCA always and only regulates in the public interest. We place the strongest emphasis on outcomes and principles, and understand that rules alone cannot deliver these particularly in wholesale markets that are global in nature. The FCA sees the FMSB’s role as a practitioner-led standards setter as an important supplement to the regulatory framework to improve business practices and rebuild trust in the financial system. The FCA supports the FMSB’s ambitious workplan to deliver more transparent, fair and effective global wholesale markets.

Andrew Bailey
Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Conduct Authority
More quotes

The UK DMO values the FMSB’s contribution to enhancing market understanding of the roles played by different participants in wholesale markets. In particular, we welcome the recent publication of a Statement of Good Practice on government bond auctions, which includes helpful principles to guide market participants in identifying and managing issues which may arise during the auction process.

Sir Robert Stheeman
Chief Executive of the UK Debt Management Office

Eight years have now passed since multiple conduct failures in wholesale finance first came to light, resulting in unprecedented fines and other sanctions. In response, FMSB has been unrelenting in harnessing the deep expertise of its participants to develop a series of detailed, actionable industry standards aimed at restoring confidence and trust in FICC markets. IOSCO commends and supports this important work.

Ashley Alder
Chair of IOSCO Board

Ensuring consistently applied codes and standards of behaviour and conduct across jurisdictions is essential to delivering fair and effective wholesale markets. As a practitioner-led standard setter, FMSB has identified vulnerabilities where conduct risk may reside and provided clear and practical guidance that supplements existing legal and regulatory frameworks. I firmly believe that FMSB is making a valuable contribution to raising standards and building trust and confidence in FICC markets.

Verena Ross
Executive Director of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Trust is the foundation of commercial relationships in any sector, but none more so than finance. And yet, with the steady stream of conduct scandals and with the financial crisis still fresh in the public’s memory, much remains to be done for the financial industry to reach a level of confidence in line with its economic and social importance. FMSB’s role in bringing practitioners together, identifying areas of conduct risk, and developing codes and standards that are adopted in global organisations is an important piece of the puzzle in raising trust and integrity worldwide.

Greg Medcraft
Director, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD

The Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG) and FMSB have similar goals in terms of working with industry professionals to discuss market developments and promote best practices. While we cover different asset classes, I see many opportunities for TMPG and FMSB to share our experiences and explore synergies, while also considering how our work complements laws, regulations and other standards and codes that exist in interconnected, global markets.

Gerald Pucci
Chair of Treasury Market Practices Group (TPMG)

ASIC has an acute focus on professionalism and fairness in our markets. Professionalism as the standard, and fairness embraced and embedded in everything market practitioners do. These imperatives need to be prioritised for there to be meaningful cultural change in the industry. In these beliefs we are aligned with FMSB and we continue to support its aim to make markets operate fairly and effectively. I look forward to a dialogue on current and emerging conduct risks in FICC markets.

Cathie Armour
Commissioner at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Providing trusted expertise and building lasting partnerships with our clients and customers are key strategic objectives for Standard Life Aberdeen. Misconduct, manipulation and bad practice anywhere in financial markets threatens significant long-term harm to those relationships that matter most. It is imperative that actors in wholesale markets come together to identify potential risks to trust and confidence, and work together to create solutions that have traction in their organisations, whatever their nature, scale or complexity.

Rod Paris
Chief Investment Officer at Standard Life Aberdeen and FMSB Advisory Council Member

Our membership of the FMSB Advisory Council and participation in FMSB groups gives us a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of standards and guidance that help enable fair and effective markets for all. The continued enhancements and transparency around this process reinforces the trust and confidence in the fairness of our markets and makes them even more effective than they already are.

Guy America
Global Head of Credit Markets at J.P. Morgan Securities plc and FMSB Advisory Council Member

The industry’s evolution continues apace, and the FMSB provides a thoughtful and effective forum in which practitioners can usefully discuss and implement the range of changes required to ensure wholesale FICC markets become more transparent, fair and effective. We look forward to continuing our support for the FMSB.

Clare Woodman
Head of EMEA and CEO of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc and FMSB Advisory Council Member

As the financial services sector prepares for LIBOR transition, a post-Brexit world and the further electronification of European fixed income trading, it’s important that the FMSB reinforces its mission to create standards and identify best practices that result in more transparent, fair and effective markets; but also increasingly to educate market participants on these standards and practices. By bringing together different stakeholders to share their experiences and foresight, the FMSB members will be able to create codes and standards that help prevent misconduct and bad behaviour in financial markets.

Enrico Bruni
Managing Director, Head of Europe and Asia Business at Tradeweb and FMSB Standards Board Member

Over the years, US corporations, particularly those with international operations, have become heavily dependent on the financial markets for foreign exchange and interest rate hedging products to protect their operations and balance sheets. They have also increasingly made use of the global funding markets. Trust that these market sectors function efficiently and confidence that the institutions executing their mandates are behaving in an ethical manner is crucial. Hence, US corporations are very supportive of the work which FMSB and wholesale market participants are doing in establishing Codes and Standards of behaviour.

Kathleen Yoh
FMSB Advisory Council Independent Member

Breadth of participant representation has played a critical part in the impact and success of the FMSB’s standards and guidelines. It is important to ensure that the buy-side perspective continues to be brought into the relevant discussions at the FMSB Standards Board and in the various FMSB Working Groups. Constructive challenge and debate is vital to understanding the current and emerging issues and to ensure that appropriate and practical approaches are developed that will make a real and lasting difference.

Jane Sloan
Head of EMEA Trading, Lending and Liquidity at BlackRock and FMSB Standards Board Member

The insight from senior industry experts and practitioners in the wholesale FICC markets is vital to ensure FMSB brings focus to the right issues. It is encouraging that FMSB members are proposing new areas where it can add real value. The creation of the IBOR Transition Working Group is a prime example of this in action, and I look forward to seeing the results from that work in the coming weeks.

Edward Ocampo
Non-Executive Director of FMSB Limited

Citigroup gives its full support to FMSB in its role to establish global standards for FICC wholesale markets, and to make them as transparent and effective as possible for all participants. As a trusted and truly global partner to institutional clients doing business in over 160 countries around the world, Citi is committed to championing global standards.

James Bardrick
CEO of Citigroup Global Markets Limited and FMSB Advisory Council Member

Representing a global corporate organisation on the FMSB Advisory Council since 2016 has given me an insight into potential conduct issues in FICC markets and how we can address them. This year, I welcome the launch of a working group that will consider the energy trading landscape and lifecycle, with a view to identifying areas of development and enhancement. FMSB is doing real and important work to promote fairer market structures, and I look forward to the working group’s forward-looking approach to the identification and mitigation of potential conduct risks in wholesale energy markets.

Alan Haywood
Chief Executive of BP Integrated Supply and Trading and FMSB Advisory Council Member

Having witnessed the effects on the real economy of misconduct across FICC markets while at the Bank of England, I recognise the value that market practitioners can bring to finding the solutions which seek to prevent malpractice. I am delighted to represent HSBC in a new FMSB Working Group aimed at considering conduct risks arising from the transition from IBOR to risk-free rates, and exploring how we can provide firms with practical behavioural scenario analysis to assist in managing these risks.

Chris Salmon
Chief Control Officer of Markets at HSBC and FMSB Standards Board Member

Organisational structure

Our structure chart shows the active committees, sub-committees and working groups within the overall FMSB structure, together with key roles and responsibilities.

Click to the left to expand.

Annual Report

The FMSB Annual Report is published annually and sets out progress made by FMSB to enhance standards of behaviour in the wholesale fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) markets.

Read our Annual Reports