Wednesday 18 January 2017

Brexit all-nighter: Banks offer bunk beds, Chinese takeaway and coffee to keep traders on the go

Published 23/06/2016 | 15:27

City of London
City of London

Bunk beds, pizza and sushi are at the ready as foreign exchange traders gear up for the Brexit all-nighter - and they are ready to go into “war-preparation mode.”

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AIB's Enda Homan is ready for the all-nighter, he told Bloomberg.

Dinner will be Chinese noodles from local deli - while coffee will be on the ready too.

“It is a unique opportunity for traders, probably not seen since 1992 Black Wednesday,” he said - he was referring to the day in September when the UK withdrew sterling from the European exchange-rate system.

Sustenance will probably consist of Chinese noodles from the local deli, and “I will also make sure that there is plenty of freshly brewed coffee to get us through the quiet bits while awaiting the results.”

Some banks are bringing in sleeping bags, bunk beds while others are booking hotel rooms.

Frederic Ponzo, managing partner at GreySpark Partners, a London-based consultancy also told Bloomberg:

“Volatility is expected to spike up potentially more than during the Swiss unpeg event and volumes to potentially overwhelm them and their systems.

” Trading was frenzied and orders delayed last year when the Swiss National Bank suddenly removed its cap on the franc.

Polls are calling it tight and traders will be on the ready to buy and sell as the results come through.

It will be a rollercoaster for sterling, depending on the vote by the British to either leave or stay in the EU.

 “Much of the frantic last-minute activity will take place in the hour or two before the early results emerge, meaning that UK bank staff will work closely with their counterparts in Asia - the open market at the time - to roll or adjust whatever hedge needs to be maintained,” said Javier Paz, a Boston-based senior analyst at consulting firm Aite.

Equity traders will start work early too before the markets open.

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