Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on September 17, 2010, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by FINRA. FINRA has designated the proposed rule change as “constituting a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the meaning, administration, or enforcement of an existing rule” under Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) thereunder, which renders the proposal effective upon receipt of this filing by the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
FINRA is filing a FINRA Trade Reporting Notice (“Notice”) that explains the price validation protocol of the FINRA trade reporting facilities and sets forth guidance on the use of the price-override indicator in trade reports. Members are required to make systems changes necessary to trade report in accordance with the Notice no later than November 16, 2010.
The text of the proposed rule change is available on FINRA's Web site at http://www.finra.org, at the principal office of FINRA and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, FINRA included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. FINRA has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The FINRA trade reporting facilities (i.e., the Alternative Display Facility, Trade Reporting Facilities and OTC Reporting Facility) (collectively referred to herein as the “FINRA Facilities”) price validate over-the-counter trades by comparing the submitted price against price validation parameters established by FINRA, generally based on a price deviation against the national best bid or offer. The attached Trade Reporting Notice explains the price validation protocol of the FINRA Facilities. Additionally, the Notice advises members that the price-override indicator should not be appended automatically to all trade reports submitted to a FINRA Facility. Rather, this special indicator should be appended only after a trade has been rejected by a FINRA Facility, pursuant to the established price validation protocol, as described more fully in the Notice.
Proper trade reporting has become increasingly important because of the single-stock trading pause pilot. Specifically, a firm that reports a trade with an incorrect price could trigger a trading pause in certain NMS stocks, as defined in Rule 600(b) of SEC Regulation NMS, and trading in the stock may be unnecessarily halted, which is inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the trading pause rules.
Any member that has programmed its systems to append the price-override indicator to its trade reports prior to rejection of the trade must make the technological changes necessary to cease this practice as soon as possible, and no later than November 16, 2010 (60 days from the date of the Notice). After November 16, 2010, a pattern and practice of reporting trades with the price-override indicator not in accordance with the established protocol and the Notice may be considered conduct inconsistent with high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade in violation of FINRA Rule 2010.
FINRA has filed the proposed rule change for immediate effectiveness, and it is operative on the date of filing.
2. Statutory Basis
FINRA believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act,  which requires, among other things, that FINRA rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. FINRA believes that the proposed rule change will enhance market transparency and further the goal of investor protection by helping to ensure that the trade prices that are publicly disseminated are correct and by reducing the potential for unnecessary trading pauses in certain NMS stocks.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
FINRA does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and paragraph (f)(1) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:Start Printed Page 60844
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-FINRA-2010-048 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2010-048. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of FINRA. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2010-048 and should be submitted on or before October 22, 2010.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.9
Florence E. Harmon,
5. See FINRA Rule 6121 and Regulatory Notice 10-30 (June 2010).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 2010-24675 Filed 9-30-10; 8:45 am]
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