Interbank foreign exchange market
The interbank market is the top-level foreign exchange market where banks exchange different currencies. The banks can either deal with one another directly, or through electronic brokering platforms. The Electronic Broking Services (EBS) and Thomson Reuters Dealing are the two competitors in the electronic brokering platform business and together connect over 1000 banks. The currencies of most developed countries have floating exchange rates. These currencies do not have fixed values but, rather, values that fluctuate relative to other currencies.
The interbank market is an important segment of the foreign exchange market. It is a wholesale market through which most currency transactions are channeled. It is mainly used for trading among bankers. The three main constituents of the interbank market are:
- the spot market
- the forward market
- SWIFT (Society for World-Wide Interbank Financial Telecommunications)
The interbank market is unregulated and decentralized. There is no specific location or exchange where these currency transactions take place. However, foreign currency options are regulated in a number of countries and trade on a number of different derivatives exchanges. Central bank in many countries publish closing spot prices on a daily basis. The central banks of many economies implement their monetary policy by manipulating instruments that allow them to achieve a certain value for an operational objective.[clarification needed] Instruments are defined as the variables directly controlled by a central bank, such as the cash ratio, the interest rate paid on funds borrowed from the central bank, and the structure of the balance sheet.