Over 70 percent of treasury professionals see the provision of straight-through processing (STP) as a major priority for improving the uptake of internet-based trading according to a recent industry survey by Reuters, the global information, news and technology group. Respondents predict a revolution in the role of the trader due to increased electronic automation of trades over the next three years. In addition to STP being a key driver, over a third envisage traders having a more direct involvement in customer relationship management. This change of focus corresponds with concerns that customer relationships will suffer as a result of increased electronic trading automation. Thirty four percent of respondents state loss of direct customer relationships as their biggest reservation for the sell side. As electronic trading frees up time on the sell side, one in three predict the merging of front and middle office roles, as traders take on more responsibility for risk management.
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