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CFEC Releases Results of October 2020 Foreign Exchange Volume Survey

The Canadian Foreign Exchange Committee (CFEC) released today the results of its October 2020 semi-annual survey of foreign exchange volumes in Canada. The purpose of the survey is to provide information on the size and structure of the foreign exchange and foreign exchange derivatives markets in Canada. Volumes are broken down by product, currency, counterparty, maturity and execution method. The nine banks with the largest foreign exchange sales activity in Canada participate.

The summary highlights of the October 2020 survey include the following:

  • The monthly turnover in October of traditional foreign exchange products (defined as spot transactions, outright forwards and foreign exchange swaps) totaled about US$ 2.60 trillion. On an average daily basis, total turnover declined by 1 per cent to US$ 118 billion from April 2020.
  • Spot transactions decreased by 25 per cent to US$ 13.7 billion on an average daily basis from April 2020. Outright forwards declined 15 per cent to US$ 11.4 billion and foreign exchange swaps increased by 6 per cent to US$ 92.9 billion over the same period.
  • The monthly turnover of foreign exchange derivatives (currency swaps and options) totaled US$ 149.6 billion in October. On an average daily basis, derivatives turnover decreased by 14.4 per cent to US$ 6.8 billion from April 2020.
  • Currency swaps turnover decreased by 23 per cent to US$ 3.4 billion while currency options turnover decreased by 4 per cent to US$ 3.4 billion on an average daily basis from April 2020.
  • Compared with the survey from one year ago, the average daily turnover of traditional foreign exchange products decreased by 9.6 per cent, and foreign exchange derivatives decreased by 26.9 per cent.

The detailed results of the survey are presented in the summary tables attached


CFEC is an industry group composed of senior representatives from financial institutions actively involved in the foreign exchange market in Canada and the U.S. dollar/Canadian dollar market globally. Formed in 1989, its objective is to provide a forum for the regular discussion of issues and developments pertinent to the foreign exchange market, including the review of market practices and procedures. The Bank of Canada chairs CFEC and provides secretariat services to the Committee.

The Bank of Canada also co-ordinates the CFEC survey on behalf of the market participants. The nine banks that participate in the survey are:

  • BAML Canada
  • Bank of Nova Scotia
  • BMO Capital Markets
  • CIBC World Markets
  • HSBC Bank Canada
  • National Bank of Canada
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • State Street Canada
  • TD Securities

Globally, the (London) Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee, the (New York) Foreign Exchange Committee, the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee, the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market Committee, the Australian Foreign Exchange Committee and Hong Kong’s Treasury Markets Association conduct similar surveys. Their results are also released today: