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Tick Size Pilot Data Collection to End on March 29, 2019

On March 29, 2019, the data collection requirements under the National Market System (NMS) Plan to implement a Tick Size Pilot Program (Tick Size Pilot) will come to an end. The Tick Size Pilot was a data-driven test to evaluate whether or not widening the tick size for securities of smaller capitalization companies would impact the trading, liquidity, and market quality of those securities. While the quoting and trading requirements under the Tick Size Pilot ended on October 2, 2018, firms that meet the definition of a “trading center” in Tick Size Pilot securities have continued to have the obligation to submit specific data elements within their OATS Reports. These data elements were used in the process of generating statistics in order to comply with Appendices B.I and B.II of the Tick Size Pilot. This data obligation will end on March 29, 2019.

Therefore, as of March 29, 2019, firms defined as “trading centers” no longer will have the obligation to include Tick Size Pilot-related data in their OATS Reports. Although the Tick Size Pilot-related fields will remain on the OATS Reports, firms may choose to leave these fields blank as OATS will cease validating them for Tick Size Pilot purposes. However, to lessen the programming burden to firms, OATS also will continue to accept OATS data with these fields populated and they will not be rejected. As such, firms may choose whether or not to continue to populate Tick Size Pilot specific fields in OATS and will not receive rejections in either case. Please note that if a firm chooses to continue to populate these data fields, they must be populated with an allowable value.

Firms operating an ATS in NMS stocks should note that they continue to have the obligation to populate both the Participation Flag field and the Routable Flag field for the purposes of complying with FINRA Rule 4550. This obligation is separate and apart from the Tick Size Pilot data requirements and does not apply to non-ATS trading centers.