NEW YORK Dec 3 GFT has shut its foreign
exchange retail brokerage business in the United States to focus
on institutional business in both the United States and
globally, the firm said on its website on Monday.
Terming it a "difficult business decision," the firm said
all U.S. retail forex customers were placed on a "position
closing-only basis" from 7 p.m. on Sunday.
"We understand that this is an inconvenience for you, so we
are working to make arrangements with one of our high quality
institutional partners to accept the GFT U.S. retail forex
accounts," the firm said. "We expect that your forex account
will return to its normal status soon so that you can continue
trading forex markets normally."
The firm did not immediately return calls for comment.
The institutional market makes up more than 90 percent of
the global foreign exchange market, dominated by banks and a
dozen non-bank customers or electronic communication networks
such as ICAP's EBS, Currenex, and Thomson Reuters.
GFT follows a trend of recent months of firms either
entering the institutional business in combination with retail
brokerage services or leaving retail brokerage altogether.
The retail currency trading industry in the United States
has been showing signs of stress because of tougher margin and
GFT is a division of Global Futures & Forex, Ltd with
corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan and offices in
Jersey City, New Jersey, London, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney,
according to their website.