This day in history: September 30, 2009 – Integral begins to offer brokers direct access to interbank FX market

We take a look back at “This day in history” within the world of FX taking a journey through annuls of time to look at the various groundbreaking developments that continue to take place in our fascinating.


Six years ago today, the world’s retail FX brokerages were beginning to set their sights on emulating the institutional and proprietary trading floors of the world’s major financial centers by shifting from a closed system in which all orders were executed via an internal desk, the modus operandi for which the MetatTrader 4 platform was originally designed, to a direct market access model, which was facilitated by a series of specialist software developers that were established around that time in order to provide liquidity bridges and price feeds to retail firms via the very same MetaTrader 4 platform that had gained ubiquity by the end of the last decade.

Thus, on September 30, 2009, Integral Development Corporation began to provide direct market access to the interbank FX market by offering retail brokers dealable liquiity and free market data on a historical and real time basis via its TrueFX service.

The Californian company noted at the time thata dramatic shift in how FX market participants gain visibility into interbank FX rates and obtain market data, stating that by increasing transparency and auditability for everyone, Integral Development Corporation predicted the emergence of a safer and more predictable market which would open up opportunities for greater market participation globally.

The company built this new solution based on its FX Grid product, Integral’s global inter-institutional connectivity and trading network, linking market making banks to FX market participants, TrueFX is live and in production today. On the portal site, Integral had began to publish tick-by-tick historical and real-time market data free of charge to all market participants.
As a result, users of the service began to receive access to clean, aggregated, dealable bid and offer prices direct from leading market makers.

Making a statement on this dynamic back in 2009, Integral Development Corporation’s CEO Harpal Sandhu, who remains CEO to this day, stated “Once the query-based search is implemented, anyone will be able to spot check individual trades they executed, and compare the rate they got from their institution to that of the multi-source liquidity feed.”

“TrueFX is a paradigm shifting event that will change the way foreign exchange markets are organized. By providing clean, dealable prices supported by free real time and historical tick-by-tick data, we believe the overall confidence in the market will increase, which in turn will lead to much greater market participation” he concluded.

“The FX market has developed into a loosely integrated set of decentralized markets,” said Larry Tabb, Founder and CEO, Tabb Group at the time “For the FX market to reach its true potential, we will need to lower entry barriers, reduce cost, eliminate friction, increase transparency, and most importantly increase the safety for retail traders. This will open the FX market to a wider array of participants and expand the market dramatically” he enthused.

Launched six years ago, features of TrueFX included facilitating a “No Dealing Desk” operation, back-to-back cover trading, integration with prime brokers, a netting facility for high-volume small-size tickets, and customer account segregation capabilities.

Names which have now long since been consigned to the history books were original supporters of the TrueFX initiative, including ODL Securities, a British spread betting company that was purchased by FXCM shortly afterwards, and PFGBest, which went to the wall at the beginning of this decade, during the period at which the United States authorities began an overhaul of how firms in its region operate with specific attention to their capital bases.

At the time of launch in 2009, Integral Development Corporation explained that it had been working on making historic tick-by-tick bid-offer data available, eventually going back to early 2008.

While data was initially presented for download only, the system subsequently began to allow for specific queries. “Access to clean historical data is especially appealing to algorithmic trading venues as they are looking for ways to test and refine their trading strategies,” added Mr. Sandhu. “Once the query-based search is implemented, anyone will be able to spot check individual trades they executed, and compare the rate they got from their institution to that of the multi-source liquidity feed.”

Read this next

Digital Assets

Societe Generale launches its own cryptocurrency, EURCV

French banking giant Societe Generale has launched its own euro-pegged stablecoin, EUR CoinVertible (EURCV). This move by France’s third-largest bank reflects the increasing trend of mainstream financial institutions embracing cryptocurrencies on a global scale.

Executive Moves

Stelios Eleftheriou leaves NAGA Group to join BVNK

BVNK, the crypto-powered payments and banking platform for businesses, has appointed FX industry veteran Stelios Eleftheriou, who has a colorful career across the gaming industry, as Business Development Director (CFD & iGaming).

Retail FX introduce ETFs on UAE, Saudi stocks

Abu Dhabi-based broker has expanded its asset class offerings to include a new suite of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) tailored for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) markets.

Institutional FX

Tradeweb Markets surges past $1.80 ADV in November

Tradeweb Markets Inc. (Nasdaq: TW) has reported a total trading volume of $38.2 trillion and a record average daily volume (ADV) of $1.80 trillion for November 2023. These figures mark a 59.2% year-over-year increase.

Inside View

A Mission in Accounting

Ismael Haber, an auditor and accountant, has made it his mission to help businesses improve the quality of their financial information by eliminating fraud and error. In the next five years, the demand for these specific financial services, being external financial audits, forensic accounting, and other fraud preventive and detective services is envisaged to increase.

Institutional FX

CME Group to launch new spot FX marketplace ‘CME FX Spot+’ in 2024

US derivatives exchange, CME Group today announced plans to introduce ‘CME FX Spot+’, a novel spot foreign exchange (FX) marketplace.


FMLS:2023: Andrew Mreana provides an exclusive sneak peek into cTrader’s 2024 innovations

cTrader’s focus for the next year would be on developing new tools for Introducing Brokers (IBs) and partners, particularly those related to algorithmic (algo) trading, the company’s head of growth told FinanceFeed in an exclusive interview at the Finance Magnates London Summit 2023.

Digital Assets

Grayscale’s Ethereum ETF stalls: SEC extends review to January 2024

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the evaluation period for Grayscale’s proposed Ethereum spot ETF.

Institutional FX

BMLL completes China equity data offering: Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong

“Demand for China data has never been higher. This is set against a general industry trend of increased market participant sophistication, and an increasing demand for quality historic market data to understand market microstructure and venue behaviour. Market participants need to get the full picture of market quality, liquidity and order book dynamics to ultimately make better informed decisions on the markets they trade and the venues they run.”