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August 23, 2013

Nasdaq mishap puts SEC in spotlight

The Securities and Exchange Commission responded quickly to Nasdaq’s latest computer glitch but the agency’s biggest challenge is how it responds more broadly to the string of systems outages that have revealed the fragility of the market and undermined investor confidence.

In March the SEC proposed a rule to require big market participants, including exchanges and self-regulatory organisations, to ‘design, develop, test, maintain and surveil systems that are integral to their operations’.

Elisse Walter, then SEC chairman, said at the time: ‘While it’s not possible to prevent every technological error that market participants may commit, we must ensure that our regulations are designed to minimise their impact on our markets and ultimately investors.’

The proposal, called Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity, or SCI, would formalise a voluntary compliance programme that has been in place for decades. It has been open for public comment for nearly four months, but will need to be finalised by a majority of the five-member commission.”

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Read full Financial Times article here

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