Wall Street Sign New York US
The majority of participants in the US equity market are concerned about high frequency trading. Reuters

Michael Lewis' controversial new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, has mirrored US investors' fears and concerns over high frequency trading (HFT) potentially damaging the financial markets.

According to a survey by ConvergEx Group, a provider of global brokerage and trading related services, the slight majority (51%) of respondents thought that the use of HFT was harmful or very harmful to the US Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, around 70% of the 357 financial market participants surveyed thought that the US equity markets were not fair for all involved.

However, despite over half the participants surveyed thinking that it had a detrimental effect, 71% have made no changes to the way they interact with the markets.

"What may be surprising, however, is that most people seem to be taking a wait-and-see posture," said Eric Noll, president and CEO of the ConvergEx Group.

"Very few respondents to our survey have made any changes recently to the way they interact with the markets and the majority feel that regulatory changes can provide answers."

Following the release of Lewis' book, the markets have been in constant debate over whether the use of high frequency trading (HFT) is a fair tactic in the US equities market.

In the book, Lewis argues that Wall Street is rigged and that a few companies are dominating the market in order to make a super-fast profit through the use of HFT.

The US authorities are now looking into HFT to see whether high-frequency trading firms break US laws by acting on private information to gain an edge over competitors.

However, president of exchange operator Bats Global Market, Bill O'Brien, came out in defence of HFT recently, and even said that Michael Lewis and Brad Katsuyama, who is portrayed as a hero in the book with his work as CEO of IEX, an alternative stock exchange, should be ashamed.

"I think of the high-frequency traders as just basically exploiting a system that's got these glitches in it," said O'Brien previously.

"[High frequency traders have] found loopholes to jump through. You know, it's sort of like, I don't know, blaming the lion for eating the antelope."