There's been some generally miserable news floating about about big bank trading levels.
In a Forbes article, the team at Trefis put lower trading revenues down to "an overall reduction in trading activity over the period (a temporary factor) and a reduction in total market size as a direct result of stricter regulations (a permanent factor)."
Meanwhile, a number of media outlets were quick to cover the fact that trading levels within Barclays' dark pool has declined an incredible 66% during the week ending June 30th, versus the prior week.
We investigated this a little further and found that the week ending June 30th was not a good one for any of the alternative trading systems (ATSs). It's not necessarily (or only) that Barclays' former clients may have been aggrieved at certain claims or findings made public in the NY Attorney General's complaint filing against Barclays, as could be inferred from a strict reading of some of the coverage -- but that trading levels at ATSs declined generally, with overall trading levels off 25% across the board, and by a median of roughly 20% across all ATSs. The numbers are still in the same region even if we control for smaller ATSs, by only looking at the 15 largest ATSs as measured by share-trading volume for the week ending June 9.
Banking pundits will be hoping this is only midsummer madness, or maybe due to interim distractions from the Football World Cup. The week ending June 30th coincided with the final week of group games.
Anyhow, here are the numbers from our extraction of aggregated trade data reported by ATSs to FINRA pursuant to Rule 4552.