(Bloomberg) — Regulators could stem the migration of U.S. equity trading to dark pools by coordinating a cut in trading fees, an action exchanges are unlikely to take on their own, according to one of the biggest high-frequency firms.
Most exchanges are charging traders too much — 30 cents per 100 shares — pushing transactions off public markets to lower-cost private platforms such as dark pools, said Chris Concannon, an executive vice president at Virtu Financial LLC in New York. Regulators should review enacting a blanket reduction of the fees, which would also curb the rebates exchanges pay traders who facilitate transactions, he said.
The system of charging investors for trades while paying brokers, a model known in the industry as maker-taker, is common at the majority of U.S. stock exchanges after market making by humans became less profitable over the last decade. While these pricing systems probably can’t be dismantled, there are “things you can regulate to mitigate their impact on market structure,” Concannon said during an interview.
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