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SEC Proposes New Rules, Regulation SCI, to Improve Systems Compliance and Integrity

On March 7, 2013, the SEC unanimously proposed new rules to require certain key market participants to have comprehensive policies and procedures in place surrounding their technological systems. The new rules would provide “more explicit technology and control standards to help ensure that our markets remain resilient against technological vulnerabilities.”

The SEC’s proposal, called Regulation SCI, would replace the current voluntary compliance program with enforceable rules designed to better insulate the markets from vulnerabilities posed by systems technology issues.

SROs, certain alternative trading systems, plan processors, and certain exempt clearing agencies would be required to carefully design, develop, test, maintain, and survey systems that are integral to their operations. The proposed rules would require them to ensure their core technology meets certain standards, conduct business continuity testing, and provide certain notifications in the event of systems disruptions and other events.

“While it’s not possible to prevent every technological error that market participants may commit, we must ensure that our regulations are designed to minimize their impact on our markets and ultimately investors,” said SEC Chairman Walter.