New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Hedge fund Manager Knight Capital Americas LLC has agreed to pay $12 million to settle charges that it violated the SEC’s market access rule in connection with the firm’s Aug. 1, 2012 trading incident that disrupted the markets.
“An SEC investigation found that Knight Capital did not have adequate safeguards in place to limit the risks posed by its access to the markets, and failed as a result to prevent the entry of millions of erroneous orders. Knight Capital also failed to conduct adequate reviews of the effectiveness of its controls.” The SEC said.
“The market access rule is essential for protecting the markets, and Knight Capital’s violations put both the firm and the markets at risk,” said Andrew Ceresney, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Given the rapid pace of trading in today’s markets and the potential massive impact of control breakdowns, broker-dealers must be held to the high standards of compliance necessary for the safe and orderly operation of the markets.”
Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit, added, “Brokers and dealers must look at each component in each of their systems and ask themselves what would happen if the component malfunctions and what safety nets are in place to limit the harm it could cause. Knight Capital’s failure to ask these questions had catastrophic consequences.”