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SEC weighs requiring brokers to identify where trades made: Bloomberg

The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are seen in Washington, July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are seen in Washington, July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is weighing a proposal that would require brokers to tell investors exactly where their stock trades are executed, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.

The proposed requirement would give investors more clarity on whether they were getting the best prices for the buy and sell orders they entrust to brokers, who can choose from dozens of stock exchanges and private venues, the report said, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The SEC, which is the regulator in charge of analyzing the stock market's structure, is reviewing all aspects of how stocks are traded and seeking to identify changes that could quickly be implemented, the report said.

An SEC spokesman could not be reached on Saturday.

So-called high-frequency trading has faced fresh scrutiny by securities regulators in the wake of Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys," which alleges markets are rigged in favor of tech-savvy traders.

"We've actually started this conversation about what can we do right now," SEC Commissioner Kara Stein said in an interview with Bloomberg. "All five commissioners are very focused on these issues and are committed to making sure the market is fair and efficient and promoting capital formation."

Requiring brokers to report every step in their orders could shed light on whether they were paying a fee or capturing a rebate by directing business to an exchange.

(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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