Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, is sharing this operational update for customers and other constituents as global financial systems manage through extraordinary volatility amid the spread of COVID-19.
ICE’s exchanges and clearing houses around the world have developed, and regularly test, contingency plans for crises like COVID-19 to enable them to continue to serve our global customer base in an uninterrupted fashion, irrespective of market condition. We have extensive Business Continuity Plans in place to ensure the ongoing operations of our businesses and the global delivery and support for all of the products and services that our customers rely on.
While most ICE employees are working in an alternating office and remote work framework — complying, as necessary, with local government mandates and social distancing directives — and have ceased all travel for work-related activity, they focus on customer needs every day.
Futures Exchanges and Clearing Houses
Our markets continue to operate normally across all of our exchanges, clearing houses and business operations. Our exchanges and clearing houses continue to provide secure and reliable price discovery and critical risk management.
We remain in constant contact with the members of our exchanges and clearing houses, coordinating with them daily across the industry and working in concert with regulators to help maintain stability across markets. While the markets we host are experiencing high levels of activity, they continue to operate and function, as designed, during these weeks of heightened volatility. Our staff is available to customers for any questions or concerns.
ICE Data Services
ICE Data Services continues to deliver and support its customer offerings. These include evaluated bond prices for nearly three million securities, real-time exchange data, which is essential for powering global markets, and fixed income indices, which track more than $68 trillion in debt across 40 currencies. Additionally, the ICE Global Network has provided an uninterrupted backbone for financial and commodity markets, offering its ultra-secure, highly resilient network where global financial firms can access one of the broadest ranges of data sources and trading venues.
At the New York Stock Exchange, which is both functionally and symbolically important to public confidence in the market during volatile times, the NYSE Group’s five equity and two options exchanges remain fully functional and operating as designed. The NYSE trading floor, as well as our options floors in New York and San Francisco, remain open and operating. The members of the trading floor community, exercising their human judgement over trades, play a vital role in reducing volatility of individual stocks during historic fluctuations in the market.
While we constantly test our resilient systems that allow us to operate the NYSE in a fully electronic fashion — and can move at any time to all-electronic trading, if necessary — we are also taking appropriate measures, working with local, state and federal governments, and our regulators, to achieve our shared goal of ensuring that the trading floor remains open for business during this volatile period.
“The health and well-being of our customers and colleagues is always our highest priority, as is our commitment and our responsibility to continue operating the world’s leading exchanges and clearing houses to enable transparent price discovery and trade settlement across asset classes,” said Jeffrey Sprecher, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, and Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. “Since ICE’s founding in 2000, our resilient systems and infrastructure have provided vital risk management capabilities to serve our customers at times of extreme stress. We will continue to work, day-in and day-out, to help our customers through this very difficult time, while ensuring the orderly functioning of markets.”
Beyond the work ICE does each day to maintain the machinery of global markets, the company is also working to keep its customers informed of the latest thinking and insights of experts who have witnessed, and managed through, the kind of societal and financial tumult currently unfolding. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Allianz Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian are among those whose expertise and insights are featured in regular question and answer sessions with ICE customers. These conference calls have received broad positive feedback from customers and will continue as long as they provide a valuable service.
Intercontinental Exchange will continue to update its customers and constituents in this fashion as circumstances warrant.