High-frequency trading: new rules for trading participants

Date: 26.03.2013

On 28 February 2013, the Bundestag passed the Act on the Prevention of Risks and Abuse in High-frequency Trading (High-frequency Trading Act, Hochfrequenzhandelsgesetz). On 22 March 2013, the Bundesrat voted not to raise any objection to the Act.

High-frequency trading has become increasingly important as a result of technological progress and growing competition between financial centres. The Act introduces an authorisation requirement and special organisational requirements intended to mitigate the potential risks arising from the speed and complexity of algorithmic high-frequency trading methods.

High-frequency traders are now subject to an authorisation requirement. In addition, the Act introduces special organisational requirements for investment services enterprises, asset management companies (Kapitalanlagegesellschaften) and self-managed investment stock corporations (Investmentaktiengesellschaften) engaged in algorithmic trading. BaFin has published answers to FAQs relating to the new provisions.

Questions to BaFin on the implementation of the High-frequency Trading Act can be sent to the following e-mail address:

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