SEC Proposes Broadening Of Broker-Dealer Registration Rules To Include Proprietary And High-Frequency Traders
On March 25, 2015, the SEC proposed rule amendments to require high-frequency and off-exchange traders to become members of FINRA. The amendments would increase regulatory oversight over these traders.
Over the years many active cross-market proprietary trading firms have emerged, many of which engage in high-frequency trading. These firms generally rely on the broad proprietary trading exemption in rule 15b9-1 to forgo membership with, and therefore regulatory oversight by, FINRA. The rule change is specifically designed to require these high-frequency traders to become members of FINRA and submit to its review and oversight.
The proposed rule change amends Rule 15b9-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) to narrow a current exemption from FINRA membership if the broker is a member of a national securities exchange, carries no customer accounts and has annual gross income of no more than $1,000 derived from sources other than the exchange to which they are a member. Currently, income