FINRA Sets May 12 Date for ATS Reporting

At long last, dark pools will start reporting their trading volumes next month.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said that U.S. dark pool operators will have to begin collecting and collating their trading volumes starting May 12.The news was first reported by

The first reports will cover the week starting May 12th and will be submitted by the ATSs to Finra by May 28th, and then made public June 2 – a two week delay between actual trade and publication.

Despite the delay, it will be the first time that the buyside, or anyone for that matter, will have access to standardized dark pool volume trading data. The buyside has long clamored for more transparency in order routing and dark pool volumes, which the regulator has finally responded to. This has been countered by arguments from the sellside dark pool operators and other ATS owners that providing the data would lead to data leakage and hurt best execution.

FINRA confirmed to that these dates that were initially listed in a February regulatory notice. The revised plan submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mooted a possible start date of April.

Reports will be delivered with a two-week delay for liquid names and a four-week delay for illiquid names, to avoid any impact on stock prices.

In January Finra’s plan to have a pilot program for security reporting began after bugle bracket firm Credit Suisse announced it would stop reporting its volumes for Crossfinder, its dark pool. The move was not followed by the number two dark pool operator Barclays.

Back in April 2013, Traders reported that Tabb Group, one consultancy which reported dark pool volume was disappointed but said it would still report dark pool data despite the Credit Suisse move.

“While we are disappointed that Credit Suisse has decided to stop reporting, it is hard to argue that continued self-reporting would do them much good,” said Adam Sussman, analyst at Tabb Group in a statement at the time. “We still feel it is important for the industry to continue to try to measure these numbers so we have no plans to cancel LiquidityMatrix. At least until regulators feel the same and put in place a better way for the industry to measure the volume and impact of different trading mechanisms.”
Justin Schack, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities confirmed to Traders Magazine at that time that Credit Suisse “is no longer reporting data to us for Crossfinder in the U.S.”

“We’re disappointed with Credit Suisse’s decision, but respect that the firm must ultimately do what it believes is best for its business,” Schack said.

Credit Suisse spokeswoman Katherine Herring declined to comment at the time.

Back then, Merrill Lynch Bank of America, JPMorgan and Fidelity Capital Markets also did not report their dark pool volumes. Now it seems all of them will have to.

According to the report, any venue that has submitted a Form ATS to the SEC will be required to report volume data on national market system securities, OTC equity securities or any debt security subject to FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine, or TRACE, rules.

As part of the plan, ATSs will transition to a reporting regime based on unique market participant identifiers that will further streamline the reporting process.