SEC Division of Exams Finds Quantitative and Qualitative Deficiencies in Rule 606 Compliance

Private fund advisers need information about how broker-dealers handle their trade orders to ensure they are complying with their duty to seek best execution for their clients. Rule 606 of Regulation NMS, which took effect in August 2005, requires broker-dealers to issue reports on their routing of customer orders in National Market System securities and options. In 2018, the SEC amended Rule 606 to require enhanced disclosures. The SEC Division of Examinations (Division) recently issued a risk alert that describes the quantitative and qualitative deficiencies it found in examinations of broker-dealers’ compliance with the amended rule, particularly the provisions concerning payment for order flow and rebates. This article details the Division’s findings. See our three-part series on the SEC’s enhanced order routing disclosures: “How New Disclosures Shed Light on Rebates Paid to Broker-Dealers” (Mar. 28, 2019); “Understanding Rule 606(a) and Rule 606(b)(3) Reports” (Apr. 4, 2019); and “How Fund Managers Should Use These Additional Disclosures Going Forward” (Apr. 11, 2019).

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