The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has hired a consultant to examine the adequacy of electronic trading controls in Canada.

The OSC issued a staff notice today indicating that with new rules governing electronic trading due to take effect in March 2013, and recently proposed amendments regarding direct electronic access, there has been increased focus on the adequacy of electronic trading controls.

In particular, it says, there’s an interest in whether the measures that regulators are proposing will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of electronic trading. “To examine this issue, OSC staff have retained a consultant to analyze the tools and controls that have been proposed and introduced in Canada, and to provide recommendations on any identified gaps that should be addressed,” it says.

This analysis, which the OSC says will not affect the timelines for the recently proposed amendments, will include gathering information from market participants such as dealers, institutional investors, direct access clients, and marketplaces, regarding the risks posed by electronic trading and the provision of direct access, existing controls, and planned controls.

Firms that would like to participate in the exercise are invited to contact the OSC by November 29.