NSE Co-location Case: SEBI Imposes Penalty of Rs6 Lakh on Pace Stock Broking
Moneylife Digital Team 03 May 2022
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a Rs6 lakh penalty on Pace Stock Broking Services for flouting norms related to National Stock Exchange (NSE)'s co-location facility.
 
The order came after SEBI received multiple complaints against the broker, pertaining to allegations of malpractices with respect to the co-location facility provided by NSE.
 
In the wake of allegations of preferential access to the tick-by-tick (TBT) data feed given by NSE to certain trading members, the matter was taken up for investigation by SEBI.
 
The noticee (Pace Stock Broking) was one of the trading members identified for comprehensive investigation (including) forensic audit for primary and secondary server connects.
 
The stockbroker logged into the secondary server in currency derivatives, cash market and futures & options (F&O) during 2013-2014, as per SEBI orders.
 
As per NSE's co-location guidelines, the secondary source for TBT data is to be used in the event of non-availability of the TBT primary source and trading members should not routinely connect to the secondary server.
 
Further, as per available records, NSE advised the broker not to connect to the secondary server. However, the broker continued to log in to the secondary server, SEBI noted.
 
The noticee connected frequently to the secondary server, which violated the NSE co-location guidelines, thereby also failing to exercise due skill care and diligence in conducting its trading operations, it added.
 
By circumventing the primary source regularly, the noticee engaged in conduct which undermined the trading system set up to provide fair and equitable access to all brokers who connected to it.
 
Through such acts, Pace Stock Broking violated the provisions of the NSE By-laws and code of conduct specified under the stockbroker rule as well as PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) norms.
 
The NSE co-location scam has been documented by Moneylife editors Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu in their book Absolute Power: Inside Story of the National Stock Exchange’s Amazing Success, Leading to Hubris, Regulatory Capture and Algo Scam, released in June 2021. SEBI had been sitting on this information since 2014 and has issued its order only now.
 
Read our coverage on NSE Algo Scam here https://www.moneylife.in/tags/nsealgoscam.html
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