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FINRA Slams $165k Fine on Instinet for Data Inaccuracy and Poor Supervision

by Solomon Oladipupo
  • Instinet published 54 inaccurate monthly reports between 2015 and 2019.
  • The broker also under-reported about 5% of the total covered orders during the period.
FINRA
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has hit institutional agency-model broker, Instinet Incorporated, with a censure and fine of $165,000 for publishing 54 inaccurate monthly reports on its order executions and also for having a poor supervisory system.

The details of the sanction are contained in a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted by Instinet to FINRA’s Department of Enforcement. According to the membership-based self-regulatory body, the broker has agreed to pay to settle the case without admitting or denying them.

Details of the violations, which FINRA said it identified in March 2019 during its examination of Instinet, come over one month after the private American corporation slapped RBC Capital Markets with a monetary fine of $360,000 for its supervisory failure between June 2018 and February 2020.

More Details on the New Case

According to FINRA, between February 2015 and July 2019, Instinet under-reported approximately 5% of the total covered orders it received through its Instinet Continuous Block Cross (CBX) alternative trading system.

“During this time, the firm excluded from its Rule 605 reports potentially reportable orders submitted to CBX by certain business units and systems at the firm. The firm had erroneously determined that all orders received through these particular business units and systems were subject to special handling and excluded from the definition of a covered order,” FINRA explained in the AWC filing.

Check out this Finance Magnates London Summit 2022 session on everything to do with fintech regulation.

This practice contravenes the US Regulation National Market System (NMS) which states how US stocks should be traded, the private regulator noted. It further pointed out that Regulation NMS Rule 605 tasks market centers to disclose certain order execution information and facilitate the uniform public disclosure of order execution information.

“A violation of Rule 605 is also a violation of FINRA Rule 2010, which states that '[a] member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade,' ” FINRA said.

On Instinet’s supervisory failure, the private regulator noted that the institutional agency-model broker’s supervisory system, including its written supervisory procedures, was not reasonably designed to achieve compliance with Regulation NMS Rule 605 between February 2015 and May 2019.

“The firm had no procedure to review or test that it was correctly excluding all orders submitted to CBX by certain business units and systems at the firm. Additionally, the firm had no procedure to check that orders included in its Rule 605 reports were properly classified by order type. Therefore, the firm violated FINRA Rules 3110(a) and 2010,” FINRA explained.

Meanwhile, FINRA recently slapped a $100k penalty on Dealerweb for inaccurately reporting approximately 180,000 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities to its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) between July 2016 and December 2020. In addition, the membership-based regulatory body in early October slammed a $2.5 million penalty on UBS Securities LLC, the New York-based brokerage arm of Swiss banking group UBS, for routing or executing over 73,000 ‘naked’ shorts sales.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has hit institutional agency-model broker, Instinet Incorporated, with a censure and fine of $165,000 for publishing 54 inaccurate monthly reports on its order executions and also for having a poor supervisory system.

The details of the sanction are contained in a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) submitted by Instinet to FINRA’s Department of Enforcement. According to the membership-based self-regulatory body, the broker has agreed to pay to settle the case without admitting or denying them.

Details of the violations, which FINRA said it identified in March 2019 during its examination of Instinet, come over one month after the private American corporation slapped RBC Capital Markets with a monetary fine of $360,000 for its supervisory failure between June 2018 and February 2020.

More Details on the New Case

According to FINRA, between February 2015 and July 2019, Instinet under-reported approximately 5% of the total covered orders it received through its Instinet Continuous Block Cross (CBX) alternative trading system.

“During this time, the firm excluded from its Rule 605 reports potentially reportable orders submitted to CBX by certain business units and systems at the firm. The firm had erroneously determined that all orders received through these particular business units and systems were subject to special handling and excluded from the definition of a covered order,” FINRA explained in the AWC filing.

Check out this Finance Magnates London Summit 2022 session on everything to do with fintech regulation.

This practice contravenes the US Regulation National Market System (NMS) which states how US stocks should be traded, the private regulator noted. It further pointed out that Regulation NMS Rule 605 tasks market centers to disclose certain order execution information and facilitate the uniform public disclosure of order execution information.

“A violation of Rule 605 is also a violation of FINRA Rule 2010, which states that '[a] member, in the conduct of its business, shall observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade,' ” FINRA said.

On Instinet’s supervisory failure, the private regulator noted that the institutional agency-model broker’s supervisory system, including its written supervisory procedures, was not reasonably designed to achieve compliance with Regulation NMS Rule 605 between February 2015 and May 2019.

“The firm had no procedure to review or test that it was correctly excluding all orders submitted to CBX by certain business units and systems at the firm. Additionally, the firm had no procedure to check that orders included in its Rule 605 reports were properly classified by order type. Therefore, the firm violated FINRA Rules 3110(a) and 2010,” FINRA explained.

Meanwhile, FINRA recently slapped a $100k penalty on Dealerweb for inaccurately reporting approximately 180,000 transactions in TRACE-eligible securities to its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) between July 2016 and December 2020. In addition, the membership-based regulatory body in early October slammed a $2.5 million penalty on UBS Securities LLC, the New York-based brokerage arm of Swiss banking group UBS, for routing or executing over 73,000 ‘naked’ shorts sales.

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