ESMA Releases Consultation Paper on High Frequency Trading

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The consultation paper (entitled Consultation on the Guidelines on systems and controls in a highly automated trading environment for trading platforms, investment firms and competent authorities) sets out ESMA’s proposals for detailed guidelines for trading platforms, investment firms and regulators to address HFT and other challenges of a highly automated trading environment. ESMA stated that the guidelines are intended to clarify the obligations of trading platforms and investment firms under the existing EU legislative framework and that it believes that the proposed guidelines “contribute to the efficiency, orderly functioning and resilience of trading in a highly automated environment”. The Consultation follows on from certain of the issues addressed in the April 2010 call for evidence by CESR (ESMA’s predecessor) on micro-structural issues of the European equity markets.

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