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April 22, 2014

BofA, NYSE, Brokerages Sued Over High-Frequency Trading

“Bank of America Corp. and the New York Stock Exchange were among dozens of exchanges, brokerages and traders sued over high-frequency trading by the city of Providence, Rhode Island, over claims they rigged securities markets to divert billions of dollars from buyers and sellers of shares.

“Scrutiny of high-frequency trading and whether it gives some investors unfair advantage intensified this year amid government probes and the March 31 publication of “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis. The lawsuit filed yesterday is one of the first by an institutional investor since U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in March promised Congress a full investigation into whether high-frequency traders violated laws against trading on inside information.

“One defendant in Providence’s complaint, Virtu Financial Inc., a high-frequency trader that delayed its initial public offering, has received inquiries from the office of New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, according to a person familiar with the matter. Schneiderman announced last month that he’s investigating high-frequency traders.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said it’s looking into whether firms that engage in high-speed trades get an improper jump on other investors by using information about their trading to make profits.”

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Read full Bloomberg article here.

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