According to the SEC’s orders instituting settled administrative proceedings against Credit Suisse:
- Credit Suisse misrepresented that its Crossfinder dark pool used a feature called Alpha Scoring to characterize subscriber order flow monthly in an objective and transparent manner. In fact, Alpha Scoring included significant subjective elements, was not transparent, and did not categorize all subscribers on a monthly basis.
- Credit Suisse misrepresented that it would use Alpha Scoring to identify “opportunistic” traders and kick them out of its electronic communications network, Light Pool. In fact, Alpha scoring was not used for the first year that Light Pool was operational. Also, a subscriber who scored “opportunistic” could continue to trade using other system IDs, and direct subscribers were given the opportunity to resume trading.
- Credit Suisse accepted, ranked, and executed over 117 million illegal sub-penny orders in Crossfinder.
- Credit Suisse failed to treat subscriber order information confidentially and failed to disclose to all Crossfinder subscribers that their confidential order information was being transmitted out of the dark pool to other Credit Suisse systems.
- Credit Suisse failed to inform subscribers that the Credit Suisse order router systematically prioritized Crossfinder over other venues in certain stages of its dark-only routing process.
- Finally, CSSU also failed to disclose that it operated a technology called Crosslink that alerted two high frequency trading firms to the existence of orders that CSSU customers had submitted for execution.
H/T Barry Ritholtz
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