By Jonathan Spicer
NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) – About 25 high-frequency trading firms have discussed forming a lobbying group within the Futures Industry Association as they move to deal with growing scrutiny in Washington, the association told Reuters.
The firms have held a series of meetings in Chicago over the last two months, spurred by the prospect of a new transaction tax, commodity market position limits, and the possibility of a crackdown on high-frequency trading, the FIA said.
The group has a draft mission statement but no name, it said. It is unclear how many proprietary firms will ultimately join the group, which is expected to be formalized in January, according to the association.
“They will become an integral part of the FIA, and we will be aware of their issues,” FIA President John Damgard said in an interview. “We will do everything we can to protect them from collateral damage from the administration” in Washington.
High-frequency traders use rapid-fire algorithms to earn thin profits from market imbalances. Critics say this leads to market manipulation and instability, but defenders say there is little evidence of this.