Accurate and precise time stamps can help regulators reconstruct past events, which may occur on different markets or in different jurisdictions. Regulatory authorities can better use time stamps from synchronised clocks to more effectively monitor and identify instances of potential market abuse and analyse market events for regulatory purposes. Therefore, IOSCO believes that member jurisdictions would likely benefit from establishing a common expectation with respect to timestamping and clock synchronisation for the purposes of recording trade and related events.
Given the heterogeneity of the markets across member jurisdictions, each market authority is best placed to determine an acceptable level of accuracy and granularity of the timestamp in their jurisdiction. However, IOSCO recommends that member jurisdictions use UTC as the standard reference time source to the extent that they have adopted or are considering adopting requirements on clock synchronisation. In jurisdictions with clock synchronisation requirements for trading venues and their participants, setting out a reference time is important in clarifying the timestamping requirement on reportable events. This may be achieved in various ways as jurisdictions have different regulatory frameworks and approaches, and not all regulators require time stamping by registered entities and so do not necessarily require a regulatory change.