US exchanges push SEC on dark pool curbs

US exchanges push SEC on dark pool curbs

The bosses of three major US exchanges met regulators yesterday to voice their concern about the amount of trading moving away from their public venues to private platforms such as dark pools.

According to Reuters, Nyse Euronext chief Duncan Niederauer, Nasdaq OMX's Robert Greifeld and Bats Global Markets' Joseph Ratterman made their way to Washington to make their case to Securities and Exchange Commission officials.

Exchanges have been steadily losing market share to private platforms such as dark pools and internalisers. According to Rosenblatt Securities data, trading away from exchanges has accounted for as much as 40% of all trading on on several recent days.

As well as costing them business, the exchanges argue that the trend also distorts prices and hurts transparency.

The SEC has been investigating ways to shed light on dark pools for some time, and incoming chairman Mary Jo White confirmed in her Senate confirmation hearing that the agency would continue to explore their effects.

According to the New York Times, the bosses want a "trade at" rule, which would mean using an alternative to an exchange only if the customer was getting a significantly better price on the trade. Since the introduction of a similar rule in Canada last October, the use of dark pools has fallen sharply.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 April, 2013, 11:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It was obvious to most people that as soon as laws and rules were introduced to bring competition to Stock Exchanges that the current market condition would arise. You cant have it both ways! The price of competition is fragmentation and a loss of transparancy. Who knows what Best execution is today and the cost of proving it has been huge. Markets by definition are encompassing different push and pulls with different types of firm and business gaining or losing as a result of change

The problem has been the changes have been made far too often with the laws of unintended consequences ignored. This has either been intentional or not but either way its downright stupid and smacks of a lack of responsibility by those we charge to know better  

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