An interbank loan market that was created for small and regional banks has begun operations, recording $15 million in transactions on its first day.
The short-term loan market — known as the American Financial Exchange, or AFX — is designed as an alternative to the federal funds market, according to the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The CBOE unveiled plans for web-based platform this fall.
The first transaction — for a $5 million overnight, unsecured loan with a rate of 27 basis points — was made by the $28 billion-asset Frost Bank in San Antonio and the $27 billion-asset Associated Bank in Green Bay, Wis., the CBOE said.
Several additional banks also began trading, including the $16 billion-asset Arvest Bank in Fayetteville, Ark.; the $12 billion-asset Old National Bank in Evansville, Ind.; the $11 billion-asset MB Financial in Chicago; the $5 billion-asset ServisFirst Bank in Birmingham, Ala.; and the $4 billion-asset Brookline Bank in Brookline, Mass.
The CBOE did not provide details about the total number of banks that have signed up for the AFX.
In the coming weeks, the AFX will begin offering a 30-day, unsecured loans, according to the release.
Initial plans for the AFX included the creation of an interest-rate benchmark based on weekly transactions. The benchmark could serve as an alternative to Libor, which has attracted widespread criticism since the 2012 rate-fixing scandal.