Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

NYSE Joins 21st Century, Letting Traders Use Their Mobile Phones

  • Decision follows phone outage on Friday during hectic session
  • Only landlines or NYSE-authorized phones had been allowed

The 224-year-old New York Stock Exchange is edging into the 21st century, letting floor brokers use their personal mobile phones at its iconic Manhattan trading floor.

The decision follows a communications breakdown on Friday, a hectic day of trading after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Service to brokers’ landlines on the floor went out, and not all of them had NYSE-authorized mobile phones. Now, personal devices can be used, at least temporarily, according to a regulatory filing.

“Communications with customers is a vital part of a floor broker’s role,” NYSE said in the filing. “Brokers who do not have exchange authorized and provided portable phones should be permitted to use personal cell phone devices, in lieu of the non-operational wired phone lines.”

NYSE is working with its phone carrier to resume service to floor brokers’ telephones, the filing said. The outage didn’t affect so-called designated market makers, which oversee the trading of stocks on the floor. NYSE is a unit of Intercontinental Exchange Inc.

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