Joining the board of TradeRisks

October 6, 2010

I’m very pleased to be getting involved with TradeRisks as a non-executive director and chairman – announced today.  I’ve seen the company at work as an adviser to both of the social housing organisations on whose boards I sit; and there is a clear cross-over between TradeRisks’ areas of interest and the long (and successful!) campaign we have undertaken at the EACT to change the substance of the proposed regulation of derivatives.

Two key aspects of TradeRisks’ work have a particular relevance (and personal resonance for me – see below).  Firstly, the social housing sector in the UK is going to need greater and greater access to non-bank sources of finance, coupled with stronger assurance that in an environment of huge uncertainty there are such routes to funding open to them.  Secondly, with all the cost pressures the sector faces and will continue to face, the TradeRisks focus on execution transparency and fair market competition is good news – even if on occasion the resulting transactions may not be revenue generating for TradeRisks.

The personal resonance for me reflects a working career involved in various ways as a taker of banking products and a non-bank adviser to companies.  I’ve never viewed the global banking market as inherently competitive – in fact, quite the contrary.  Much of what TradeRisks is doing is focused on trade transparency, which forces banks into greater disclosure of the true cost (margins) being carried by the customer in the corporate sector.

For the benefit of the young and the old I should note the exception to my comment above about the lack of true competition in the banking sector.  That was the glory days of the late 70s and early 80s, when London at least was awash with offshore dollars and even the most obscure non-UK banks sprung up seeking a position in an already over-banked market.  Life was easy for treasurers – even if some of the latter lost sight of what relationship banking should mean.

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