Citi Cross, a new US crossing network being built by Citi, will be made available in beta form to external clients towards the end of April, the bank has confirmed.
Originally planned for launch in Q4 last year, Citi Cross is currently in an internal beta stage but will be migrated to its co-located data centre for production later this month.
"We will begin testing with a few clients towards the end of April," a Citi spokesman told theTRADEnews.com. "We have no immediate plans to extend Citi Cross to other geographies, but we are keen to leverage the technology in other product lines."
Citi Cross will match trades from retail clients with client high-frequency trading (HFT) flow. All of Citi's retail order flow in the US is currently passed though Citi Match, the broker's crossing network, prior to being put on the open market via Citi's market-making business. Citi Cross will take retail orders that are unfilled by either and match them with flow from HFT clients.
Retail investors are traditionally wary of HFT flow, partly over fears that they may be gamed by sophisticated HFT algos. However, Citi has promised that it will prevent HFT firms from using certain strategies that it considers could be harmful, for example latency arbitrage, on Citi Cross.