Trading and Markets

Trading and Markets

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The Division of Trading and Markets establishes and maintains standards for fair, orderly, and efficient markets. The Division regulates the major securities market participants, including broker-dealers, self-regulatory organizations (such as stock exchanges, FINRA, and clearing agencies), and transfer agents.

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Division Information and Resources

The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act" or "Act") governs the way in which the nation's securities markets and its brokers and dealers operate. This section contains some of the significant provisions of the Act and its rules. You will find information about whether you need to register as a broker-dealer and how you can register, as well as the standards of conduct and the financial responsibility rules that broker-dealers must follow.
 
A "national securities exchange" is a securities exchange that has registered with the SEC under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Information about the exchanges registered with the SEC, rule filing, and other guidance can be found here.
Transfer agents record changes of ownership, maintain the issuer's security holder records, cancel and issue certificates, and distribute dividends. Because transfer agents stand between issuing companies and security holders, efficient transfer agent operations are critical to the successful completion of secondary trades. SEC rules and regulations are intended to facilitate the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and that assure the safeguarding of securities and funds. Information about transfer agent registration, inspections, and rules can be found here.
 
The Dodd-Frank Act established a comprehensive framework for regulating the over-the-counter swaps markets. Title VII of that Act divides regulatory authority over swaps between the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). (link to CFTC) Under the law, the SEC has authority over “security-based swaps,” which are broadly defined as swaps based on (1) a single security or (2) a loan or (3) a narrow-based group or index of securities or (4) events relating to a single issuer or issuers of securities in a narrow-based security index. Information about registration, rules, and Security-Based swap entities can be found here.
 
Last modified: March 20, 2014