Fund associations tell CFTC to abandon automated trading regulation

The Managed Funds Association (MFA) and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) are urging the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to scrap the proposed automated trading regulation.

In a letter to the CFTC, the associations said the commission should abandon the current version of the rule and, instead, implement risk controls and build on the existing regulatory framework to reduce electronic trading risk by.

They recommend implementing controls at the “gatekeeper” levels, like designated contract markets, executing futures commission merchants or clearing firms.

“Our members have a keen interest in safeguarding the safety and soundness of U.S. derivative markets. Those concerns include the usability, affordability, efficiency and liquidity of these markets for the U.S. economy and for the hedging and risk management purposes for which these markets serve for market participants globally,” the letter said. “We remain strongly concerned that the underlying framework of Regulation AT is flawed. As such, we believe a fundamental revision is necessary, and respectfully urge the Commission to abandon Regulation AT, as re-proposed.”

If the CFTC does move forward with the proposed rule, MFA and AIMA suggested using more precise definitions for automated trading activity.

They also recommend adopting a principles-based approach to regulation of automated trading that will allow market participants to tailor controls to suit their firms’ operations and risks.

Further, they suggest adopting a preservation requirement for Algorithmic Trading Source Code and greater regulatory protections for the treatment of Algorithmic Trading Source Code and other intellectual property.

They also recommend that the CFTC work with financial technology companies to address how regulation can most effectively address new technologies and promote safer and more efficient markets, without subjecting market participants to Regulation AT for use of third-party algorithmic trading systems.