September 9, 2019 / 9:42 PM / 7 months ago

U.S. SEC proposes added transparency for trading database

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday proposed greater transparency for self-regulatory groups managing a trading database project aimed at preventing sudden and dramatic shifts in financial markets.

The regulator proposed the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) repository after the May 2010 “flash crash” and views it as critical to the oversight of markets where trading happens in tiny fractions of a seconds.

It will be a central database for all stock and options “message traffic,” meaning every trade order, execution, modification and cancellation, and hold sensitive personal identifying data such as the social security numbers of exchange customers.

The proposed changes also cover quarterly reports on the implementation of the project, the SEC said in a statement.

The SEC again extended the deadline for national securities exchanges to come up with plans on how they would comply with the project requirements. The exchanges had failed to meet implementation deadlines due to technical issues and worries about cybersecurity.

The original compliance timeline of November 2017 to November 2019 has been extended till between April 2020 and ending in December 2022, the SEC added.

The industry has complained that the SEC has not made clear who would pay for the project.

The SEC said the proposed changes were designed to “decrease the likelihood of additional delays to CAT implementation by increasing operational transparency and attaching financial accountability.”

The platform would ideally track all trades from inception, pinpointing buyers, sellers, exchanges and brokers involved, and allow the SEC to better spot insider trading and market manipulation.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Richard Chang

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