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Bank of England doesn't see systemic risk from algorithms in wake of GBP 'flash crash'

First Published 11th October 2016

Sterling is as Sterling does.

Anil Kashyap, a member of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, was reported commenting on the events of Friday morning in GBP/USD. Yes, people are still talking about it.

After the precipitous fall of the Pound's Sterling rate against the US Dollar in the very early hours of Friday, 7 October 2016, people are still struggling to make sense of what really went down.

Speaking on the implications of the move on how the UK's financial markets are possibly perceived, Kashyap didn't think that it reflects on the stability of the financial system at large as long as "there's a bounce back".

In his view, it's not a surprise for something like this to happen in the middle of the night when liquidity is thin (especially in a pair like GBP/USD).

He added further that he didn't see any concerns for the health of UK banks, even if such a move would actually not be retraced. In other words, he thought banks on the island were largely insulated from big swings in GBP's value (which is probably true to some degree).

He posed the open question whether or not the technological "arms race" underpinning automated trading was desirable for society at large, but he did not think that automated trading per se created a systemic risk factor to the financial system.