In the first six months of 2016, the five top day traders in London earned £1.7 billion. These traders had a total of £3.1 billion earned in the first six months, excluding interest or fees. There were two day traders in London at the end of July 2016: Simon Green, £2.5 million, which is below London’s average for this period, but represents more than a quarter of the day trader earnings.
The day traders in London made their earnings in two main parts of their trading: their direct and indirect commission – which is the earnings from selling, repositioning, changing book positions and buying on the way out. A direct commission is the earnings of day traders who act as intermediaries, and a large component of this is commissions received from the trading day book and margin loan trading, which make up 80% of all day trading income. Margin loan trading pays commission only once margin is borrowed.
The top day trader in London in the first half of 2016 is Martin Lewis, who earned £2.6 million, or 24% of the London trading day book. Lewis earns between 6% of the London trading day book, which is less than his London colleagues, and 9% of the London trading day book, which would equal around £400,000 per day, according to the Financial Times. At 9% of the trading day book, his earnings are about one sixth his UK colleagues.’
By comparison to other financial centres around the world, such as Hong Kong, London’s day trading income is significantly lower than that of peers in the United States and Europe. It is also significantly higher than the earnings of US day traders, who earned around $80,000 in the first half of 2016 on the books of a group of 14 banks including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. The earnings of European bankers is estimated to be around £30 million per day on the books of 20 banks. The earnings of Americans are estimated to be £50 million per day on the books of 15 banks.
This is a different story from other parts of the investment world where day traders are concentrated such as Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. In Australia, investors need to be part of an institutional trader group to qualify for a share and in Singapore, the average day trader in the first half of 2016 had to be part of an institutional trader group, which included 10 firms that made up 75% of the trading
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