Barclays claims the automated capital commitment feature launched this week for its US clients will "shift the industry" towards hybrid alternatives to electronic trading.
Head of electronic trading Bill White described the feature, which allows US clients trading equities to transfer part of the order risk to Barclays's central risk management book, as an industry first because it combines high-touch and electronic trading. The client avoids the execution cost of the portion of the order routed via the central book.
Capped access to the bank's liquidity allows those of its US clients signed up to the service to manage risks associated with price volatility.
"Up to now clients using the electronic desk haven't had access to high-touch trading desk services," said White. "When we made the first trade, we said to ourselves: we've changed the industry. This is a single product that bridges the gap between the electronic desk and high-touch trading. A lot of things that come next will be based on this strategy."
Capital Commit, which is currently in beta testing in Europe with roll-out expected later this year, could apply across asset classes.
"It's fair to say that sometimes clients have started with scepticism, but it has allowed us to have creative discussions," said White. "The core strategy is how to commit capital to clients efficiently. It could include different asset classes, and different ways for it to function."
He suggested the rest of the industry was likely to follow Barclays's lead, developing hybrid products incorporating elements of high-touch trading.
"There will be a lot more of this kind of product in future," he said.