SEC, FSA Co-Hosted International Roundtable on Market Structures

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
October 14, 2011 /

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Martin Wheatley, Managing Director of the Conduct Business Unit at the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA), have co-hosted a meeting among regulators from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia to share views on issues pertaining to equity market structure.

The roundtable, held at FSA headquarters in London, considered how advances in technology, new trading strategies, and the increasing integration and globalization of markets have impacted developments in equity market structure.

There were extensive discussions on all aspects of high frequency trading (HFT) which noted the positive and negative effects of HFT; impact on market liquidity and market efficiency; the potential for market abuse and the impact on long-term investors. The meeting also highlighted the need for global coordination on regulatory approaches to HFT.

Further areas of discussion focused on the impact of market fragmentation, particularly the benefits and consequences of the growth of alternative trading venues as well as analysis of the impact of undisplayed liquidity.

Specifically, the leaders of the various regulatory agencies shared their views on issues related to automated trading strategies, such as high frequency trading, market fragmentation, and undisplayed liquidity (for example, “dark pools”).

The participants also discussed possible approaches that regulators might adopt in light of these market structure developments. The discussion highlighted the need for global coordination on regulatory approaches to many of these issues.

Chairman Schapiro said, “The rapid developments in trading technologies and trading platforms have had a profound impact on the evolution in the structure of markets around the world. This roundtable provided an important opportunity for regulators to share their experiences and their views on these developments.

“Cooperation among regulators at an international level is increasingly vital in ensuring the safety and soundness of our markets and protecting investors, and the meeting was a tremendous success in advancing such cooperation on market structure issues.”

Wheatley added, “The meeting provided an opportunity for regulators from around the globe to discuss vital markets structure issues, particularly the impact and role of high frequency trading.

“The meeting allowed for the sharing of useful information between the regulators and will contribute to a sound basis for continued work to be done at a global level.”

The meeting laid the groundwork for future discussions on these issues, allowing securities regulators an opportunity to continue to work together to address advances in technology and new trading strategies.


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