The Triennial Central Bank Survey of foreign exchange and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets aims to obtain comprehensive and consistent information on the size and structure of global foreign exchange and OTC derivatives markets. The results are intended to increase the transparency of OTC markets and to help central banks, other authorities and market participants monitor developments in global financial markets. They also help to inform discussions on reforms to OTC markets. The Triennial Survey is coordinated by the BIS under the auspices of the Markets Committee and the Committee on the Global Financial System. It is supported through the Data Gaps Initiative endorsed by the G20.



Developments in latest data using the BIS derivatives statistics


Reporting countries

Dealers from more than 50 jurisdictions participate in the Triennial Survey, and the statistics are reported to the BIS at a country, rather than individual dealer level. The reporting population for the turnover part of the survey consists of large commercial and investment banks as well as securities dealers (collectively referred to as “reporting dealers”). Central banks are not part of the reporting population. In order to maintain methodological consistency with previous Triennial Surveys and facilitate the separate identification of cross-border and local trades, the turnover part of the survey is conducted on a sales desk location basis.

Research and publications

The credit default swap market: what a difference a decade makes

Over the last decade, the size and structure of the global credit default swap (CDS) market have changed markedly. With the help of the BIS derivatives statistics, we document how outstanding amounts have fallen, central clearing has risen and the composition of underlying credit risk exposures has evolved. Netting of CDS contracts has increased, due to the combination of a higher share of standardised index products and the clearing of such contracts via central counterparties. In turn, this has led to a further reduction in counterparty risk. Underlying credit risks have shifted towards sovereigns and portfolios of reference securities with better credit ratings. The distribution of credit risks across counterparty categories has remained broadly unchanged. ...

Central clearing makes further inroads

Central clearing - a key element in the reform agenda for over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets aimed at reducing systemic risks - made further inroads in the second half of 2016. When, at end-June 2016, the BIS collected comprehensive data on central counterparties (CCPs) for the first time, the numbers showed that central clearing was predominant in OTC interest rate derivatives markets but less prevalent in other OTC derivatives segments. Data at end-December 2016 indicate that central clearing is gaining in importance in these other segments too.

The bond benchmark continues to tip to swaps

By the 1990s, basis risk had caused bond markets, like money markets before them, to start shifting from the use of government rates as benchmarks to the use of private ones. Developments since the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-09, including derivatives reforms and Libor scandals, had the potential to disrupt this shift. Yet BIS data on derivatives turnover indicate that interest rate swaps continue to gain on government bond futures for hedging and positioning at the long end of the yield curve. However, the ease of unwinding positions in futures may stop swap rates from completely ...

Downsized FX markets: causes and implications

For the first time in 15 years, FX trading volumes contracted between two consecutive BIS Triennial Surveys. The decline in trading by leveraged institutions and "fast money" traders, and a reduction in risk appetite, have contributed to a significant drop in spot market activity. More active trading of FX derivatives, largely for hedging purposes, has provided a partial offset. Many FX dealer banks have become ...

The changing shape of interest rate derivatives markets

We analyse recent developments in over-the-counter (OTC) interest rate derivatives markets using the results of the 2016 BIS Triennial Central Bank Survey. Overall, turnover in both OTC and exchange-traded markets has expanded moderately since 2013. The average daily turnover of US dollar-denominated instruments has nearly doubled, driven by contracts with short maturities. Turnover of euro-denominated instruments has ...

Emerging derivatives markets?

Only 10% of global derivatives turnover is in contracts denominated in the currency of an emerging market economy (EME), much lower than the share of these economies in global GDP or world trade. Derivatives in EME currencies also tend to be less complex and more likely to be traded outside the home economy than those in advanced economy currencies. Differences persist even if we control for key drivers of ...

Non-deliverable forwards: impact of currency internationalisation and derivatives reform

Global turnover in non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) continues to rise in aggregate. But the paths of NDF markets have diverged across currencies: renminbi internationalisation has led to rapid displacement of NDFs by deliverable forwards, while the NDF market has retained or even gained in importance in other emerging market economy currencies. Policy reforms to reduce systemic risk in derivatives markets are ...

Introduction to BIS statistics

The BIS is expanding its statistics by publishing additional data, revamping how these data are disseminated and strengthening their policy orientation. This special feature briefly describes each BIS data set and explains how the statistics can be ...

Enhanced BIS statistics on credit risk transfer

From June 2011, the BIS credit derivatives statistics provide more granular information on the types of risks transferred through credit default swaps by different groups of counterparties. The new data suggest that reporting dealers have used some hard-to-value credit derivatives to transfer credit risk to shadow banks, possibly exposing these counterparty groups to valuation risks. The data also show that some financial counterparties have sold protection against defaults in the same sector on a net basis.


OTC derivatives and FX spot - turnover


The Survey takes place every three years in April. It tracks the average daily turnover in spot FX and OTC FX and interest rate derivatives during that month. The preliminary results of the Survey are typically published by November, and final results in the December of Survey years.

Turnover of OTC foreign exchange instruments by currency can be found in Table D11.3.

Turnover data are collected on an unconsolidated basis from sales desks located in more than 50 participating jurisdictions.

No. The BIS Triennial Survey captures turnover in foreign exchange spot markets, as well as foreign exchange and interest rate OTC derivatives markets. Other risk categories are not covered by this survey.

Tutorial Videos

Dollar debt in FX swaps and forwards: huge, missing and growing

|Banking for International Settlements
Patrick McGuire, head of International banking and financial statistics, explains how FX swaps, forwards and currency swaps create forward dollar payment obligations that do not appear on banks' balance sheets.