SEC OKs FINRA Rule to Limit Self-Trading

FINRA will announce effective date of change in a regulatory notice

Traders at the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: AP) Traders at the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: AP)

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The Securities and Exchange Commission approved Thursday the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s rule change to limit self-trading.

The change to FINRA Rule 5210 requires firms to have policies and procedures in place that are reasonably designed to review their trading activity for, and prevent, a pattern or practice of self-trades resulting from orders originating from a single algorithm or trading desk, or related algorithms or trading desks.

FINRA said that it will announce an effective date to reflect this change to FINRA Rule 5210 in a regulatory notice to be published in the near future.

“FINRA’s cross-market surveillance program canvasses 90% of the listed equities market, and this important new rule change will significantly increase FINRA’s ability to deter self-trading that, while not involving fraudulent or manipulative intent, is disruptive to the marketplace," said Thomas Gira, FINRA executive vice president of market regulation, in a statement.

FINRA explains that self-trades are “[t]ransactions in a security resulting from the unintentional interaction of orders originating from the same firm that involve no change in the beneficial ownership of the security.”

The self-regulator notes that self-trades by single or related algorithms or trading desks “raise heightened concerns because this type of trading may not reflect genuine trading interest, particularly if there is a pattern or practice of such trades.”

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