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CFTC Preparing Oversight for High-Frequency Firms, Gensler Says

Derivatives exchanges may be required to establish and enforce new rules to limit risks of high-frequency trading firms, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler will tell lawmakers today.

The CFTC, which oversees derivatives markets, is preparing a set of broad principles for testing and supervision of electronic trading systems, Gensler said in remarks prepared for a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing in Washington today.

The regulator’s release would seek comment on how to create a “supervision regime designed to ensure that electronic trading systems are tested and supervised by trained personnel and that appropriate risk controls are in place,” Gensler said in his testimony.

Gensler is testifying for the Senate panel on a rule to control speculation in oil and natural gas that was approved by the CFTC last month. His testimony also lays out the agency’s work in writing rules to govern the $601 trillion swaps market. The CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission are leading efforts to write the new rules, which are required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

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