Foreign exchange trading platform FXCM (FXCM:NYSE) has posted a timeline of the extraordinary few seconds which followed the Swiss franc flash crash of January 15.
The euro fell 40% against the franc almost immediately after the announcement and liquidity completely dried up, according to the company.
From the 1.20 EUR/CHF price floor previously put in place by the Swiss central bank, prices were quoted as low as 20 and 50 cents to the franc soon after, the company claims.
'The abrupt change triggered chaos and a complete foreign exchange market breakdown,' the company says in a statement.
FXCM compares the event to the May 2010 flash crash on US stock exchanges, which was widely blamed on algorithmic traders.
'The January 15 flash crash saw the EUR/CHF drop 40% in seconds whereas the equities market saw a 9% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the course of a few minutes,' says the company in a statement.
FXCM, whose own share price has plummeted because of losses incurred on the event, branded the SNB's decision to remove the peg so suddenly as 'reckless' and has since stopped offering products on currencies operating similar pegs.