A group of proprietary trading firms have set up a European lobby group as they prepare for greater regulatory scrutiny of high-frequency trading.
The FIA European Principal Traders Association is a forum for firms that trade their own capital to "identify and discuss issues" confronting their community, says a statement.
The Brussels-headquartered group has been formed by the Futures Industry Association, which set up a similar pressure group in Washington last year. So far it claims 15 member firms, including Dutch outfits Flow Traders, IMC and Optiver and US-based Getco.
Under the upcoming overhaul of MiFID, high-frequency trading in Europe is expected to face tougher scrutiny, with the new European Securities Markets Authority watchdog planning to insist on knowing about firm's specific algorithms, an approach not welcomed by traders or the UK's national regulator, the FSA.
The new group will work to "define common positions on public policy issues, improve the public's understanding of the constructive role played by principal trading groups in the exchange-traded markets and promote cost-effective, equal and transparent access to European markets".
John Damgard, president, FIA, says: "Financial reform is a global issue. Creation of the FIA EPTA comes at a critical time as policymakers in Europe, the US and elsewhere are writing rules that will change how our markets work. It is especially important that there be a voice in Europe for this important segment of our markets."