SEC Proposes Rule Regarding Risk Management Controls for Broker-Dealers with Market Access

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On January 13, 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) voted unanimously to propose a new rule that will effectively prohibit broker-dealers with market access from providing customers with unfiltered access to an exchange or alternative trading system (“ATS”). Proposed Rule 15c3-5 (the “Proposed Rule”) would require broker-dealers with direct market access to trading securities on an exchange or ATS to establish, document, and maintain a system of risk management controls and supervisory procedures that, among other things, are reasonably designed to (1) systematically limit the financial exposure of the broker-dealer that could arise as a result of market access, and (2) ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements applicable in connection with market access.1 The Proposed Rule encompasses trading in all securities on an exchange or ATS, including equities, options, exchange-traded funds, and debt securities, and is intended to strengthen the controls with respect to market access and to reduce regulatory inconsistency and the potential for regulatory arbitrage.

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