Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity 2001 – Final results

Updated 18 Mar 2002

The 2001 Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity - final results of which the BIS is publishing today - shows a substantial decline in turnover in the foreign exchange market and a slowdown in the growth of activity in the derivatives market. In traditional foreign exchange markets, average daily turnover in April 2001 was $1.2 trillion, a 19% decline compared to April 1998. This decline contrasts with the findings of previous surveys, which had reported a rapid rise in foreign exchange market activity. In the derivatives market, average daily turnover was $1.4 trillion, a 10% increase over the survey three years before. This represented a significant slowdown in market expansion relative to the earlier three-year period, when daily activity had expanded four times faster. Additional data on the notional amounts of derivatives contracts outstanding at end-June 2001 also show a slowdown in market expansion relative to 1998.

The 2001 survey

In April and June 2001, 48 central banks and monetary authorities participated in the most recent BIS survey. They collected data for April 2001 on turnover in traditional foreign exchange markets - those for spot transactions, outright forwards and foreign exchange swaps - and in over-the-counter (OTC) currency and interest rate derivatives. Preliminary results on turnover were published in October 2001. The survey also covered data on amounts outstanding of OTC foreign exchange, interest rate, equity, commodity and credit derivatives. These were collected at end-June 2001 and preliminary results were published in December 2001. This was the fifth global survey since April 1989 of foreign exchange market activity and the third survey since March/April 1995 covering in addition OTC derivatives market activity.