Better Markets and Finance Watch Joint Statement on the SEC's Proposal to Enhance Oversight of HFT Traders
Brussels, 26 March 2015 – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, and Benoît Lallemand, Head of Strategic Development for Finance Watch, issued this joint statement following the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal to require high frequency traders (HFT) to register with a national securities association:
"Predatory high frequency trading is not only damaging our markets, but also killing investor confidence. That is why we have urged regulators for years to take broad action, from requiring registration to taking enforcement actions. The SEC's proposal to finally require high frequency trading firms to register with FINRA is a positive first step, but only one of many that our markets and investors need. Some high frequency traders are using special data access and lightning fast computers to generate virtually guaranteed profits at the expense of investors and destabilizing markets. Yet due to a decades-old loophole in SEC rules, they aren't all subject to the same oversight as other broker-dealers. Regulators in Europe are well ahead of the United States in responding via MiFID 2 legislation to what is fast becoming a global problem, and it's time for the SEC to catch up. The SEC should move forward with this rulemaking while aggressively enforcing existing laws and rules to protect everyday investors and eradicate unfair trading practices."
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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.
Finance Watch is an independent, non-profit public interest association dedicated to making finance work for society. It was created in June 2011 to be a citizen's counterweight to the lobbying of the financial industry and conduct technical and policy advocacy in favor of financial regulations that will make finance serve society. Its 70+ civil society members from around Europe include consumer groups, trade unions, housing associations, financial experts, foundations, think tanks, environmental and other NGOs. Finance Watch was founded on the following principles: finance is essential for society and should serve the economy, it should not be conducted to the detriment of society, capital should be brought to productive use, the transfer of credit risk to society is unacceptable, and markets should be fair and transparent. To learn more, visit www.finance-watch.org.