Gensler zeroes in on Citadel Securities as SEC considers payment for order flow ban

by Msnbctv news staff

Wall Avenue’s prime cop mentioned Tuesday that the dominance of Citadel Securities within the enterprise of routing order stream is probably not giving retail traders the perfect deal.

U.S. Securities and Trade Fee Chair Gary Gensler informed the Senate Banking Committee that he’s involved about Citadel Securities’ 47% market share over all U.S.-listed retail quantity. Virtu Monetary (VIRT), one other wholesaler, controls about 25% to 30%.

“I’m professional competitors, and I’m unsure the cost for order stream system actually is the perfect aggressive panorama,” Gensler mentioned.

Gensler didn’t point out Citadel Securities by title, however footnotes within the SEC chair’s ready remarks did.

The SEC has not dominated out the potential of a full ban on cost for order stream, the apply of a brokerage (like Robinhood) passing on inventory orders to a wholesaler (like Citadel Securities) to truly find and execute.

When these wholesalers discover a inventory at a less expensive worth than the investor ordered, the financial savings are break up by the wholesaler and the brokerage — who can then go on value financial savings to the investor within the type of a greater worth. The cost for order stream mannequin is a significant motive why brokerages like Robinhood (HOOD) can supply zero fee trades.

Wholesalers additionally get rebates from exchanges just like the New York Inventory Trade for offering liquidity, entrenching their roles as middlemen in inventory trades.

“I believe the inherent conflicts of cost for order stream and rebates on the inventory exchanges each might make our markets much less environment friendly,” Gensler mentioned.

Yahoo Finance reported that Gensler raised the difficulty of focus of retail order stream within the first assembly of the White Home’s Competitors Council final Friday, President Joe Biden’s initiative to push federal businesses to curb anti-competitive habits.

‘All on the desk’

Questions stay about how the SEC will proceed on any reform.

The previous Goldman Sachs banker alluded not solely to the potential of banning cost for order stream, however rethinking rebates and the best way that costs are referenced underneath the benchmarks set by Nationwide Greatest Bid and Supply (NBBO).

“On this space, it’s all on the desk,” Gensler mentioned, including that the SEC’s single purpose is to encourage competitors “to decrease the associated fee and lift the effectivity” of the fairness market construction.

As soon as an arcane mechanic of the brokerage trade, cost for order stream earned the nationwide highlight throughout the early 2021 frenzy over meme shares like GameStop (GME).

Robinhood, which went public in late July, has relied closely on cost for order stream and noticed its revenues from the apply practically triple in 2020.

Many brokerages adopted Robinhood in leaning extra closely on cost for order stream as they eradicated commissions, though the likes of Constancy have remained proof against the mannequin.

After being pulled to Capitol Hill to testify after the run-up in GameStop froze some buying and selling exercise, Citadel Securities’ Ken Griffin mentioned cost for order stream has been useful to the brokerage trade and the retail investor at giant.

“This has been essential for the democratization of finance, it has allowed the American retail investor to have the bottom execution value they’ve ever had within the historical past of the U.S. monetary market,” Griffin mentioned.

Gensler mentioned Tuesday the SEC is near publishing its report on the meme inventory episode, noting that different SEC commissioners are at present reviewing it.

Brian Cheung is a reporter masking the Fed, economics, and banking for Yahoo Finance. You may comply with him on Twitter @bcheungz.

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