Published On: January 5, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed significant changes to the regulatory requirements applicable to dark pools and other alternative trading systems (ATFs) that trade national market system stocks. The proposed changes are designed to: provide detailed public information to market participants about the potential conflicts of interest and operations of NMS Stock ATSs, their broker-dealer operators and the affiliates of their broker-dealer operators to allow such market participants to better determine where to send their orders, provide more information to the SEC so it may more effectively regulate NMS Stock ATSs and adjust the regulatory obligations applicable to competing ATSs and national securities exchanges. The role of ATSs have evolved significantly in 17 years. The number of NMS Stock ATSs (46) as well as the trading volume on those ATSs (15% of total share trading volume) has increased as well. They are operated by multi-service broker-dealers engaged in significant brokerage and dealer activities in addition to the operation of their NMS Stock ATSs. The SEC is concerned that there is limited information available to market participants about the operations of ATSs and the activities of their broker-dealer operators and their affiliates.

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