British regulator launches equities review, dark pools a focus – report

August 4, 2009

LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) has launched a wide-ranging review of UK equity markets, covering aspects such as high-frequency trading and so-called “dark pools,” the Financial Times reported.

The study is being conducted by FSA staff and Henry Knapman, a veteran of trading and equity market structures at UBS who is on a one-year secondment to the FSA, the paper said in its Tuesday edition.

The move, which will take into account views on anonymous trading venues called “dark pools,” comes amid growing questions about how the rise of electronic trading may be affecting investors, the paper added.

An FSA spokesman confirmed the watchdog was talking to market participants “to get their views about changes in the market post-Mifid,” but said the review would not lead to a report.

Mifid (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) is a set of pan-European Union rules introduced to tear down barriers to cross-border share trading competition.

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