Fed Up With Fees but Finding Few Options to Bloomberg Terminal

By March 30, 2023No Comments

Members express frustration with Bloomberg’s data licensing fees and some explore alternatives.

The cost of paying Bloomberg’s data fees on top of what the company charges for a Terminal subscription sparked complaints and conversation at a recent meeting of NeuGroup for Foreign Exchange 2. The prices present a dilemma for treasury teams that don’t use the high-end tool on a daily basis but haven’t found alternatives they really like.

  • One member said her treasury team only logs on to Bloomberg Anywhere three times a month, using the Data License to publish the company’s 65 spot exchange rates for monthly internal reporting.
  • In 2021, this member’s total annual charges topped $140,000. That included $1,000 a month for the Data License and $75,000 to access to Bloomberg’s Multi-Asset Risk System (MARS), which treasury uses to extract much larger datasets every few years.
  • “I understand if you’re charging a big bank this kind of money because they’re using it every day, but we don’t,” the member said. “To even put us on the same pricing tier as a big bank seems a little outrageous. Other members and I are in agreement that we just don’t use the Terminal enough to justify these types of costs.”

Bloomberg’s response. In response to questions from NeuGroup Insights about pricing, a Bloomberg spokesperson provided this statement:

  • “Every client’s data and product needs are different. Bloomberg offers solutions for both desktop data use and enterprise-wide distribution, and we encourage clients to work closely with their account rep to find the best combination of products to meet their unique needs.”

Underwhelming options. Despite their frustration, some members said Bloomberg’s competition doesn’t stack up—leaving treasury teams to make tough decisions.

  • One assistant treasurer said his team tried using FXall for delta hedging instead of Bloomberg to cut costs, but said the pricing ended up being higher. FXall, an FX aggregation tool owned by Refinitiv, charges a fee on transactions.
  • Another member who expressed a great deal of unhappiness with Bloomberg’s fees said that the service significantly outperforms competitors, including Reuters, for equities pricing.

Forced to cut back. But the looming threat of recession and pressure on many companies to cut costs means some members will have no choice but to find other vendors if Bloomberg does not offer more competitive pricing.

  • One member is exploring multiple options to Bloomberg. They include hiring a full-time employee dedicated to manually finding FX rates on less expensive platforms like Reuters and FXall.
  • The member said this approach would not be as automated or fast as using Bloomberg’s Data License or MARS, but it could cut the price she pays in half.
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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