Cyprus’ institutional evolution: Regtech, fintech and global trade reporting becoming Cypriot FX mainstay

“With all these upcoming regulations, all these continuously updating regulatory frameworks, my personal opinion is that the only way that counterparties and financial institutions can cope with this is by automation and by technology”, says Point Nine’s Andrea Peratitis.

No longer is the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus considered to have the sole functionality of acting as a hub for retail FX brokerages from across the world to place CySec licensed operations in order to align themselves with the European MiFID regulations and thus attract clients to a credible entity.

Far beyond the inaugural days that laid the foundations for Cyprus’ now fully comprehensive FX industry, the country now plays host to the major platform providers Spotware Systems and MetaQuotes, developers of the cTrader and MetaTrader platforms respectively, liquidity management companies oneZero and PrimeXM also have operations on the island, institutional prime brokerages and liquidity providers operate in Cyprus, as do management consultancies and regulatory technology and trade reporting specialists.

In short, Cyprus is an FX industry powerhouse as it hosts the entire component system of the electronic trading ecosystem, and is inhabited by highly skilled professionals who understand this business in a detail perfect fashion.

It is now widely acknowledged that the talent base within the Cyprus FX industry is comprehensive, with the world’s top retail platform developers MetaQuotes and Spotware Systems, two global liquidity bridge providers, oneZero and PrimeXM, institutional liquidity firms including Advanced Markets, Saxo Markets and AMB Prime, and a host of ancillary service providers making up the entire infrastructure around the 180 retail brokers in Cyprus.

The evolution is now further developing and regulatory reporting companies specializing in MiFID and EMIR reporting, as well as post trade reporting and processing to trade depositories such as vast electronic derivatives venue CME Group in North America and institutional giants in Britain are now becoming a pinnacle of Cyprus’ electronic trading industry landscape.

Cyprus has recently diversified its business image to become known not only as a key center for Forex brokers but also as a fintech hub . Point Nine Limited, a provider of post-trade execution, operation, processing and reporting, established in 2002, has been growing and constantly developing to become a well known company in the FinTech and RegTech areas.

Today, in Limassol Cyprus, FinanceFeeds met with Andrea Peratitis, Head of Regulatory Reporting at financial technology company Point Nine, in order to detail the company’s ethos.

Point Nine stands out as a technology company now that regulated technology in Cyprus is becoming a big mainstay of the industry. Technology firms and prime brokerages, the whole ecosystem is here in Cyprus. So, RegTech companies and specialists in EMIR reporting and the technology behind this is prominent but Point Nine has stood out as a company that has gotten itself involved in events and conferences and that is bringing international institutions like CME Group and Commerzbank, and so forth. How did that come about and why is that important as a RegTech specialist in Cyprus?

Point Nine is a financial services and technology company. One part of point Nine is providing regulatory reporting services to our clients. Regarding the event that we did in Limassol and we brought people from institutions like Commerzbank, KPMG Germany and Cyprus, Clearstream and CME Group it was a good chance for the Cypriot financial market to have an exposure to the experience of these professionals.We have very good relationship with these companies.We both believe that we do a great job in our fields.

Financial technology and specialist companies in financial technology like Point Nine along with a few others in Cyprus that have now become established, have gotten themselves into the technology provision to brokerages, institutions and banks – another financial services sector of the technology that supports the way that electronic trading firms have to report these days. Do you think that RegTech is the new FinTech? Have we gotten to the point where they are technologically astute enough or you have to hold their hand through the regulation?

My personal view is that the only way that financial firms may cope with all the upcoming regulations is by automation and thus by technology.

I am not sure if RegTech is the new FinTech, although they are related, of course, but I think that RegTech is a space by its own and is evolving too fast as we have seen. This is not by chance. It’s because technology is the only way to keep up with all these changes.

That’s right. And it makes it less expensive for the actual counterparty.

From what I have come through, the reasoning behind using technology for regulatory reporting purposes is always the same: it costs less money, it takes less time and it creates more accuracy.

So, finally, Point Nine, being a completely separate company, has global aspirations and a global client base. This is a real first. What is the future for Point Nine’s development as a Cypriot company on the world stage?

Point Nine is based in Cyprus but most of our clients are in Europe. This is not a problem, as we travel a lot and we have a direct contact with them often. We work with leading organisations such as TRs, Fund Admins etc and thus we increase our reach by partnerships​. Our vision is to become a one-stop solution for our clients and also for different asset classes. We don’t only target brokers or asset managers, we also target various institutional clients.

Image: Maria Nikolova (FinanceFeeds), Andrea Peratitis (Point Nine), Maria Papafylaktou (Point Nine), Andrew Saks-McLeod (FinanceFeeds)

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