August 6, 2012
Dear Chairman Shapiro;
The Commission's policy respecting settlement of securities transactions appears to discriminate against unsophisticated small investors that utilize cash accounts and allow the broker to execute their trades in the easiest and most automatic way possible.
The policy of "one fits all" settlement rewards the brokers and traders that need or can profit from a long gap between trade date and settlement date. Small investors with cash accounts cannot profit from that delay. They must have cash or securities in their accounts before trading occurs and any delay in settlement delays access to their cash on sale trades.
For example: The vast preponderance of cash account small investor trades are executed automatically in seconds and locked in instantly with the information communicated to the trade report line ,to firms' books and to the clearing center. Many of such customer trades are executed as principal by the executing broker; and the investor account is debited the shares of stock sold and credited with the net cash from the trade.
This all occurs literally in seconds. However, SEC Rule 15C6-1 then comes into play and blocks the small investor access to the cash due from the trade. On the customer side the trade is locked-in, completed, over, done, irreversible, and most would say settled. On the other side, his executing broker acting as principal, the trade is also, locked in, completed, and done; but apparently it is reversible and not settled until the firm settles its net-by net account with clearing.at T+3.
To enable small investors to protect themselves in principal-customer transactions, The Commission should simply change the language in Rule 15C6-1 to T+3 or earlier where circumstances permit.
Competition will do the rest.