Mortgage-backed securities platform to digitize TBA marketplace
(PHILADELPHIA, Pa.) — NEWS: Agile, a new fintech bringing mortgage lenders and broker dealers on to a single electronic platform, has formally announced the launch of its flagship RFQ (request for quote) platform. All MBS market participants can now participate on an electronic platform that expedites the exchange of To-Be-Announced Mortgage-Backed Securities (TBAs).
Despite the rise of electronic trading and digitization of financial services, MBS trading has largely been conducted over the phone. Phone-based trading is slow and impractical in generating numerous competitive bids. Agile is introducing a new, electronic way to quote MBS through a browser-based platform that digitizes the process of buying and selling TBAs. As a result, Agile enables the user to efficiently generate more competitive bids compared to legacy phone-based processes. (*See note 1.)
“Our mission is to bring the mortgage capital markets into a new digital era,” comments Curtis Richins, President & CEO of Agile. “We’re democratizing the TBA Market for lenders and dealers both big and small. We created Agile because we believe that a transparent market is a better market and because every counterparty deserves access to a fair, efficient and transparent marketplace.”
Agile was developed with direct feedback from mortgage lenders and broker-dealers, resulting in a powerful platform that integrates smoothly with existing processes. With the browser-based platform, lenders can request trades from any device, anywhere. Agile’s three step process for digital TBA trading communication can help lenders improve efficiency, while expanding the number of quotes they receive and their network of counterparties. For the first time, all mortgage lenders can trade with regional and primary dealers electronically.
Agile’s initial roll-out began January 1, 2021 and demonstrated rapid adoption across the mortgage secondary market. Agile has supported 261 financial institutions who have exchanged 95.6 thousand quotes. (*See note 2.) Lenders have been quick to welcome the benefits of the new platform.
Early adopter Andrew Stringer (Director of Secondary/Capital Markets at First Bank), said, “After a busy conference day, I found myself with moments left to optimize coverage before market close. A few taps in Agile and I was done! No calls, no computer, no manual calculations – just a quick TBA trade and back to unwinding after a long day.”
Agile has already received strong participation from the broker-dealer community, thanks to new opportunities for growth and operational improvement. Agile provides access to an ever-growing network of lenders, facilitates increased quote requests from approved counterparties, and delivers the efficiencies of a digital trade desk. Broker-dealers also have the benefit of straight-through processing with leading trade order management systems. Featured broker-dealers currently on the platform include, but are not limited to, the following: BMO Financial, BOK Financial Securities, CMG Securities, Daiwa Capital Markets, ED&F Man, Huntington Securities, Janney Montgomery Scott, JVB Financial, Performance Trust, Raymond James, South Street Securities, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co, and StoneX.
Brent Giese, Executive Director of Fixed Income at Daiwa Capital Markets America, said: “Working with Agile has been very productive and beneficial to Daiwa’s growing mortgage banking sales franchise. With access to many qualified mortgage originators, the platform provides an efficient means to reach significant volumes. The technology is advanced and allows for effective performance feedback while their straight though processing capability eliminates costly trade errors. Simply put, I have been very impressed and am thankful to have this valued partnership.”
The industry’s first MBS fintech, Agile brings together lenders and dealers of all sizes onto a single platform. Agile facilitates the exchange of TBA MBS by securing and automating communication between mortgage lenders and broker-dealers. Agile digitizes the historically phone-based process to an electronic platform which may improve profitability and efficiency, while reducing administrative errors. Through its competitive TBA RFQ digital platform, mortgage lenders gain access to national and regional broker-dealers previously inaccessible on digital platforms, while broker-dealers gain access to an ever-growing network of lenders. Based in Philadelphia, Agile Trading Technologies supports a national network of clients with a team of capital markets professionals who have deep trading experience at financial organizations of every size.
For more information, visit https://trade-agile.com/ or call (619) 332-6205.
 MCT Study of Digital RFQ Implementation, see Works Cited for details.
 Agile RFQ Platform Usage Data 2021 YTD Summary Report.
Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other clients, and past results are not a guarantee of future performance or success.
Benefits and metrics listed in this document were sourced from the MCT Study of Digital RFQ Implementation, July 2021 found at https://mct-trading.com/study-of-digital-rfq-implementation/. Mortgage Capital Trading (MCT) is a client of Agile Trading Technologies and active user of the Agile RFQ platform.
This study measured the change in phone use, productivity, and TBA execution associated with the implementation of Agile Trading Technology’s RFQ platform (Agile RFQ), as well as the experiences of platform users. The study encompassed over 250 mortgage lender clients of MCT who either used Agile RFQ to support their own TBA trading, or Agile RFQ was used by MCT traders to support TBA trading on their behalf. The study measured the month of January 2021 (after implementation) against the month of January 2020 (before implementation). Data was collected through MCT reports on TBA trading activity and surveys of platform users. Possible limitations of the study include the relatively narrow time period of measurement and the combination of qualitative and quantitative data used for measurement.
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