London, UK – 16th April 2020 – As the next phase of Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) testing approaches, Capital Markets data automation specialist Inforalgo has been certified for CAT production. This is a well-timed move benefiting industry members trading US equities and options who are obligated to report under Phase 2a and 2b. This was aligned to the FINRA CAT timeline and schedule for Production Readiness Testing on 12th April.
Last month, Inforalgo reported the major announcement from Security and Exchanges Commission’s Division of Trading Markets (SEC) which has resulted in CAT being delayed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic hitting the globe. The delay comes after FINRA issued a “no-action” letter to the SEC, resulting in new flexibility of the current April deadlines for CAT reporting participants, moving them until mid-May (at a minimum) in reaction to the current uncertainties that COVID-19 has placed upon the market.
Albeit the CAT testing is now facing delays, a CAT NMS spokesperson confirmed that CAT will be ready to accept CAT reports for industry members who have completed the required production readiness certifications and are ready to begin reporting for April 20, making this certification a major move for Inforalgo, whilst also giving time for industry members to get their reporting in order.
The company, which provides RegFlex™, a consolidated, automated online reporting hub spanning multiple asset classes and regulatory regimes, says this delay has provided vital additional time for Large Industry Members and should be used wisely to prepare for what’s ahead in the uncertain landscape.
“It’s important to realise that the COVID-19 pandemic can’t be used as an excuse for companies to delay implementing their CAT solutions. We would urge teams to keep on top of their CAT plans as so many projects are being pushed back later into Q2, this will undoubtedly lead to resource issues,” says Chief Commerical Officer, Phillip Flood.
He goes on to clarify, “As RegFlex is delivered as a private cloud-based service, the CAT delay due to COVID-19 has not changed our schedule and we are still working towards the original timeline. If anything, with the market conditions, trading volatility and significantly increased volumes, it’s provided substantial industry scenario test data and allowed more time for industry participant testing and onboarding.”
Phillip also described how important the new certification is for Inforalgo and for impacted businesses, “As a certified CAT Reporting Agent (CRA), (and the only one outside the US), we’ve again demonstrated our ability to provide an end-to-end reporting solution for new requirements. Certification requires proof of data accuracy and quality with a failure rate threshold that needs to be achieved across all industry members where we are the CRA. Our technology and STP experience have helped surmount this challenge and we look forward to helping Large and in the future Small industry members with our regulator approved solution.”
CAT is a new comprehensive database for US equity and options orders, which will be orchestrated and overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Inforalgo are offering free CAT consultations, which can be booked by clicking here. They also provide more information about RegFlex for FINRA CAT here.