03.15.2019

QUICK TAKE: Cboe on Transaction Fee Pilot Proposal

03.15.2019

Cboe Global Markets’ Executive Vice President, Co-Head Markets Bryan Harkins isn’t a big fan of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed Transaction Fee Pilot.

Bryan Harkins, Cboe Global Markets

In a letter sent to clients and viewed by Traders Magazine, Harkins wrote that the proposed transaction fee pilot, for example, is a “major concern to us and to many market participants. In many ways, we view the pilot as a solution in search of a problem. We expect the pilot will disrupt trading in thousands of securities and adversely affect investors as a result of diminished liquidity and wider spreads on their trade executions.”

Harkins added Cboe is committed to working in partnership with market regulators, but the pilot’s “potential harm to the equities markets is such that, in conjunction with the other major exchanges, we have taken the unprecedented action of contesting it by filing a petition for review in the Washington, D.C. court of appeals.”

Harkins said the petition for review wasn’t taken lightly and Cboe will, of course, comply with the pilot should it become operative, while also working to minimize its impact on our customers to the extent possible.

“The pilot is a large experiment that may ultimately constrain how exchanges price, compete and innovate,” he wrote. “In response, Cboe would likely intensify the frequency with which we bring new initiatives to the marketplace. We realize it is difficult to garner unanimous support for every proposal, but we are committed to working closely with all of you to develop new initiatives that provide unique value to the marketplace.”

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