Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments, Citadel Securities LLC and a host of other financial companies have agreed to jointly launch a new low-cost stock exchange that will compete with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
In a joint statement on Monday, the companies said the new exchange would look to increase competition, improve operational transparency, reduced fixed costs and simplify equity trading in the United States.
The venture will be called Members Exchange, or MEMX, and will be funded and controlled by nine institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab Corp., E*TRADE Financial Corp., TD Ameritrade Holdings Corp., UBS, and Virtu Financial.
The new exchange comes after years of complaints from brokers and traders over expensive fees charged by U.S. stock exchanges for data on stock trades.
Last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked stock exchanges to do a better job justifying their fees for public market data. It also repealed two data price changes last May for public feeds for Nasdaq and NYSE-listed securities for the first time.
MEMX, which plans to offer a simple trading model with basic order types and the latest technology, will also represent the interests of its founders’ collective client base, comprised of retail and institutional investors.
It will offer “lowering pricing on market data, and connectivity and transaction fees,” it said.
The big three U.S. exchanges have faced criticism for surging fees for services like data feeds that brokers use to monitor movements in stock prices.
Shares of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE: ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, were down 2.6% and Nasdaq Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ) fell 2.8%.
MEMX raised USD 70 Million in its initial funding round and expects to bring other investors on board later. It will file an application seeking approval to operate as a national securities exchange with the U.S. SEC in early 2019, according to the statement.