November 13, 2014 / 3:58 PM / 3 years ago

Exchanges issue summary of data processor meeting for first time

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 15, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. stock exchanges have posted online details about the management of data processors that have sparked embarrassing trading glitches and accusations of shoddy disclosure by releasing minutes from an oversight meeting for the first time.

Two committees made up of representatives from 14 exchanges and brokerage watchdog the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently published a two-page summary of a general session meeting of the committees on Oct. 22.

Critics, most notably the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a lobby for banks, brokerages and asset managers, have urged better governance of the committees, which oversee several securities information processors (SIPs).

The SIPs provide the latest sale price and quotations for stocks and options, a critical but little-noticed role in the daily functioning of the stock market until a three-hour trading halt in Nasdaq stocks in August 2013. That outage, and several others, made SIP reliability a key concern for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc agreed to improve operational metrics after winning a bid to manage the SIP for Nasdaq-listed stocks last week. The contract also provides reliability guidelines that were lacking in the past.

But the months-long selection process, which appeared mired in a stalemate, drew criticism because of a dearth of details.

A Nasdaq spokesman said the information was posted Oct. 31, while an announcement by the Consolidated Tape Association (CTA), which oversees stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and an affiliate exchange, said the minutes went up Nov. 4.

The CTA said the posting was part of “an effort to provide the industry with more detailed information that improves transparency and serves as a useful informational tool.”

The online posting noted the names of five people who form an advisory committee, including a representative from Thomson Reuters Corp. But the names of the representatives from the exchanges were omitted, as was the SEC’s representative.

A picture of the advisory committee members also was posted.

The posting highlighted agenda items typical of the committees’ quarterly meetings, such as data on SIP performance and a review of system subscribers, information that has been published online for several years.

The summary also indicated reports on disaster recovery operations for the exchanges’ data centers, and quarterly testing dates. The last test was Sept. 27, and the next Dec. 6.

There was no immediate comment from SIFMA.

Reporting by Herbert Lash

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