The Securities & Exchange Commission today proposed a new rule that would prohibit national securities exchanges from offering volume-based transaction pricing in connection with the execution of agency or riskless principal (“agency-related”) orders in NMS stocks. The proposal also would require national securities exchanges to have certain anti-evasion rules & written policies & procedures & disclose certain information if they offer volume-based transaction pricing for member proprietary volume in NMS stocks.
“Currently, the playing field upon which broker-dealers compete is unlevel,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Through volume-based transaction pricing, mid-sized & smaller broker-dealers effectively pay higher fees than larger brokers to trade on most exchanges. We have heard from a number of market participants that volume-based transaction pricing along with related market practices raise concerns about competition in the markets. I am pleased to support this proposal because it will elicit important public feedback on how the Commission can best promote competition amongst equity market participants.”
Proposed Rule 6b-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 would prohibit national securities exchanges from offering volume-based transaction pricing in connection with the execution of agency-related orders in NMS stocks. It also would require exchanges that offer volume-based transaction pricing in connection with the execution of members’ proprietary orders in NMS stocks to disclose certain information, including the number of members that qualify for each transaction pricing tier that the exchange offers. Exchanges would be required to submit this information to the Commission on a monthly basis, & the public would be able to access the information through the Commission’s EDGAR system.
In addition, proposed Rule 6b-1 would require exchanges that have volume-based transaction pricing for member proprietary orders in NMS stocks to have anti-evasion measures, including rules requiring members to engage in practices that facilitate the exchange’s ability to comply with the prohibition on volume-based exchange transaction pricing for agency-related orders in NMS stocks & to have written policies & procedures reasonably designed to detect & deter members from receiving volume-based pricing in connection with the execution of agency-related orders in NMS stocks.
The proposing release will be published in the Federal Register. The public comment period will remain open until 60 days after the date of publication of the proposing release in the Federal Register.