Bloomberg, MarketAxess and Tradeweb take the wheel in European fixed income tape plans

The three platforms have set out plans to apply to become the consolidated tape provider through the public procurement procedure. 

Major fixed income execution platforms Bloomberg, Tradeweb and MarketAxess have confirmed they will be collaborating on how to push through plans for a consolidated tape for fixed income in Europe. 

The three entities have set out plans to apply to become the consolidated tape provider through the public procurement process organised by ESMA. As part of this process, Tradeweb, Bloomberg and MarketAxess are now preparing a competitive request for information process to begin reviewing independent third-party partners that have the potential to offer the consolidated tape service.  

“With our collective expertise in fixed income markets and in operating regulatory reporting entities – notably Approved Publication Arrangements (APAs) for Mifir reporting – we are in a unique position to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost-effective consolidated tape service that meets the needs of market participants and the objectives of the regulators,” the three said in their statement. 

“The consolidated tape service is expected to be provided – subject to the relevant regulatory approvals – via a joint-venture company established and operated independently from our respective businesses. If successful in winning the mandate, the company would be authorised and supervised by ESMA to provide transparency in fixed income markets pursuant to MiFID II.” 

Plans for an equities tape in Europe have hit several hurdles in recent weeks despite a renewed push from France to get a proposal over the line under its presidency of the European Council.  

In the meeting of the working group on 24 May, the council reportedly put forward plans for a real-time pre-trade tape with a revenue allocation model that rewards all contributors, however, according to sources familiar with the matter Germany is leading the opposition to the tape.  

Several participants have argued that a tape in fixed income should be a priority for regulators due to the fragmented nature of this market in comparison with equities where exchanges already offer depth of book data to institutions – albeit at an extortionately high fee.