Payment for Order Flow
At the Security Traders Association (STA) 89th Annual National Market Structure Conference held in Washington DC in October, brokerage executives reacted to the concept of auctions as well as other ideas on SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s agenda to revamp equity market structure. But the industry’s top wholesalers and brokerage executives speaking at STA emphasized that the stock market is functioning well for retail investors and cautioned against making a litany of changes that could lead to worse results.
One of the biggest possible reforms would be a requirement for retail brokers to route individual orders to buy or sell stocks into a transparent “auction process” for matching customer orders, rather than sending them to wholesale market makers for execution on off-exchange platforms.
If PFOF is potentially curtailed or prohibited, it could impact retail investors that have benefited from commission-free trading as well as the wholesale market-maker model of matching retail orders through internalization.