The Securities and Exchange Commission last month fined the New York Stock Exchange $5 million. The fine represents the first ever SEC financial penalty against an exchange. The SEC brought first-of-its-kind charges against the New York Stock Exchange for compliance failures that gave certain customers an improper head start on trading information.
SEC Regulation NMS (National Market System) prohibits the practice of improperly sending market data to proprietary customers before sending that data to be included in what are known as consolidated feeds, which broadly distribute trade and quote data to the public. This ensures the public has fair access to current market information about the best displayed prices for stocks and trades that have occurred. According to the SEC’s order against NYSE, the exchange violated this rule over an extended period of time beginning in 2008 by sending data through two of its proprietary feeds before sending data to the consolidated feeds.
NYSE’s inadequate compliance efforts failed to monitor the speed of its proprietary feeds compared to its data transmission to the consolidated feeds. SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami had this to say:
Improper early access to market data, even measured in milliseconds, can in today’s markets be a real and substantial advantage that disproportionately disadvantages retail and long-term investors. That is why SEC rules mandate that exchanges give the public fair access to basic market data. Compliance with these rules is especially important given exchanges’ for-profit business interests.
Hopefully, the SEC will be more aggressive in its role as protector of American investors. Many observers believe that the SEC hasn’t been tough enough. Perhaps, this action is the start-up of a tougher enforcement agency.
Source: Corporate Crime Reporter
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