The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) is proposing to step up market surveillance by introducing trade reporting requirements for certain over-the-counter (OTC) options trades.
FINRA launched a consultation on a new daily trade reporting requirement for OTC securities options that are essentially identical to listed options.
The self-regulatory organization reported that its analysis has found that a “significant amount” of options trading involves trading in OTC options with the same terms as listed options, yet the regulator doesn’t have data on the OTC trading activity.
To address this regulatory gap, FINRA is proposing to require firms to report OTC securities options trades, including index options, that meet certain criteria.
The SRO said that the proposed trade reporting requirement “would improve FINRA’s surveillance of the securities markets,” which would help it spot illegal activity such as insider trading, front running and market manipulation in the equity and options markets.
FINRA noted that it has uncovered this sort of misconduct in investigations that were prompted by complaints or came from other sources, but that it can’t currently be detected from the reporting it receives from firms.
It is not initially proposing to publicly release this data, although FINRA said it may adopt public reporting after it “obtains more experience with the data.”
The proposal is out for comment until Sept. 20.