OTC foreign exchange turnover for five forex instruments in the UK 2001-2019

Average daily turnover of foreign exchange transactions and derivatives in the United Kingdom from 2001 to 2019, by instrument

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Release date

December 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2001 to 2019

Supplementary notes

All values taken as of April each year.

Over the counter (OTC) refers to foreign exchange transactions that occur outside regulated exchanges (such as the New Yok Stock Exchange or London Stock Exchange).

  • Spot transaction: the exchange of two currencies within two days without a signed contract;
  • Forward: an agreement for the purchase and sale of currency at a fixed price at a point in the future (generally after 90 days);
  • Swap: the simultaneous lending and borrowing of two different currencies between two investors (i.e. one investor borrows an amount in one currency, then repays in a different currency);
  • Option: an agreement to exchange one currency for another at an agreed rate at some time on the future, but with no obligation to carry out the transaction (unlike with forwards).

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