Since 1983, the Bank of Canada has conducted a triennial survey of foreign exchange market activity in Canada. The latest survey was done in April 1995 and covered activity in both the foreign exchange market and in the derivatives markets. The central banks of most other industrialized countries with active foreign exchange and derivatives markets also conducted similar surveys. This was the first time that markets for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives were surveyed by central banks in a systematic and comprehensive fashion.
The average daily turnover in the Canadian foreign exchange market, including foreign exchange derivatives, has continued to grow rapidly (by approximately 36 per cent to about U.S.$30 billion) since the last survey, although at a slower pace than during the 1980s. Foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives contracts dominate derivatives market activity, with equity and commodity derivatives activity being almost negligible in comparison. Through April 1995, daily turnover volume in Canadian foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives markets averaged about U.S.$19 billion and U.S.$15 billion, respectively, mostly in forward and swap transactions.