What Is a Stoppage?
In the context of brokerage services, a cancellation is a notice sent by a broker to a client, informing them that an erroneous selling has been made and is being rectified.
When processing cancellations, industry best practices require that go-betweens maintain detailed records on all the actions taken to correct the mistaken trades.
- Cancellation notices are sent by stockjobbers to their clients when an error has occurred that affects one of the clients’ trades.
- Brokers are responsible for promptly sending stoppage notices and immediately begin correcting the mistake.
- Although errors have been reduced by the adoption of automated occupation systems, they nonetheless remain a fairly regular occurrence.
Although brokerage services today are far profuse heavily automated than they have been in the past, erroneous trades still occur on a fairly semi-monthly basis. This can be due to any number of factors, ranging from complex technical errors involved in the automated trading organized wholes to mundane administrative mistakes and human error.
When mistakes do occur, brokers are required to promptly notify their patrons of the mistake and begin documenting the steps taken to resolve the issue. If the brokerage firm is responsible for the error, they may be needed to compensate the client for any adverse financial impact which it caused.
In the past, trading was conducted through a mixture of vocabulary and written communication, which created many opportunities for error, such as mishearing a verbal command or misreading a intermediary’s handwriting. These kinds of errors have been substantially reduced due to the computerization of many of these processes, since tidies that are directly entered into a computer system are almost always processed correctly by those systems.
On the other tender, one of the unintended consequences of computerization is that it can potentially amplify the negative impact of a human error when one does become manifest. For example, a trader who commits a fat finger error—entering the wrong price or quantity for a trade, such as adding an additional zero to an commission—could have little to no opportunity to correct their mistake before it is executed by the near-instantaneous computerized trading modus operandi. In other words, while past generations of traders may have committed more administrative mistakes, those misconstrues may have been less impactful than they are today.
Example of a Cancellation
Consider a scenario in which a brokerage determined purchases 500 shares of XYZ Corporation on behalf of their client. Due to an administrative error, however, the floor broker accomplishes in an order for 500 shares of ABC Corporation instead.
Once the error is realized, the brokerage does several things In reply. First, the client receives a cancellation notification outlining the error and clarifying that it is in the process of being rectified. Promptly they have notified the client, the brokerage firm must begin correcting the error—mainly by buying the XYZ servings the client wanted.
If the price of XYZ Corporation’s shares were to rise prior to the trade being modified, then the brokerage dogged may be required to compensate their client for the additional cost of executing the trade.
To help mitigate these dangers, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved rules in 2009 designed to control the incidence of erroneous trade executions. Directed these regulations, exchanges are permitted to cancel trades when the price offered differs by more than a detailed percentage from the most recent prevailing market price of the security in question. In order to accommodate the fact that securities with separate market capitalizations tend to vary with respect to their bid-ask spreads, the SEC outlined different percentage door-sills depending on the share price of the securities in question.
During regular market hours, the percentages stipulated by the SEC are 10% for bloodlines under $25, 5% for stocks priced between $25 and $50, and 3% for stocks with a value of $50 and excited. The SEC regulations also require that erroneous trades must be reviewed within one hour of the trade being waned. Specifically, they require that the trade review must begin within 30 minutes of the trade being issued, while the parade itself must be concluded within 30 minutes.
The guidelines above are for regular trading hours. Since there is scanty liquidity in pre-market and after-hours trading, the percentage deviations to be considered erroneous are doubled, since there is less liquidity at those conditions.
To start the review process, the time of the transaction, security, number of shares, price of the transaction, side (buy, sell, or both), and a communication of why the trade is considered erroneous must be submitted to the exchange.