Potential Impact of Rule SEC Release #34-60515 Regarding Proposal to Extend Regulation NMS Coverage to OTC Securities
FINRA, in August of 2009, filed Release No. 34-60515 with the SEC. FINRA proposes to extend certain NMS protections to quoting and trading in the OTC market for equity securities.
- Restrictions on sub-penny quoting;
- Prohibitions on locked or crossed markets;
- Implementation of caps on access fees;
- Requirements of transparency of customer limit orders.
FINRA’s goals, part of broadly anticipated changes in financial systems, are proposed as part of efforts to both modernize and achieve higher “quality” in the OTC marketplace.
1. Sub-Penny Quote Restrictions
FINRA addresses both issues of modernization and higher quality by proposing to restrict sub-penny quoting in conjunction with removing the requirement that ATS’s include non-subscriber access fees within its quote. Restricting sub-penny quoting may help prevent the practice of “stepping ahead” of displayed limit orders by trivial amounts.
The proposal will most effect small businesses whose securities trade for under $1.00. Under FINRA’s proposal, market participants will be able to quote in increments ranging