April 26, 2019 / 7:28 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. SEC extends compliance date for revised order-handling rule

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision has given broker-dealers more time to comply with amendments to a rule that increases transparency around how they handle their customers’ stock orders, according to a recent regulatory filing.

The extension of the compliance date for amendments to the SEC rule, known as Rule 606, to Oct. 1 from May 20, was made to give broker dealers enough time to make changes to their electronic order-routing systems and test them for compliance, the April 24 filing said.

“The Commission believes that an extension of the compliance date for the recently adopted amendments to Rule 606 is reasonable to provide broker-dealers with adequate time to implement fully the systems and other changes necessary to comply with amended Rule 606,” the SEC said.

The regulator acknowledged that the extension of the compliance date would delay the ability of investors to better compare and monitor broker-dealers’ order-routing practices.

The SEC voted to amend its 18-year-old order-handling rule on Nov. 2 to make it easier for investors to evaluate how brokers handle their orders, including more details around payments the brokers receive for sending orders to certain exchanges or private trading venues.

The amendments will give institutional investors a better idea of how their order executions are impacted by their brokers’ order-routing decisions, shedding more light on potential conflicts of interest in the process.

The information available through the current Rule 606 quarterly reports describing payment for order flow and profit-sharing arrangements will increase once the amendments kick in.

A bigger change in the amended rule is that brokers will be required to collect substantially more information on order routing and provide clients that request it with a report on an order-by-order basis detailing how their orders were handled during the prior six months.

Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Leslie Adler

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