On 16 July 2009, the European Commission published a preliminary study on the prices, costs and volumes of trading and post-trading of securities in the EU. The purpose of the study, which will be repeated, is to enable the Commission to track the evolution of prices and costs with a view to better policy development.

The principal findings of the study were that:

  • Volume determines prices. There tends to be a lot more domestic than cross-border activity, although most infrastructures do have many clients from abroad. Nevertheless these account for much less volume than domestic clients, and costs have been seen to be greater for cross-border transactions than for domestic ones.
  • Costs are decreasing. Across financial centres, transaction unit trading costs have been decreasing since 2006, although to different extents for different types of transaction.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said:

"This study is significant because it helps us understand the evolution of end-to-end trading and post-trading prices, costs and volumes. While acknowledging the broad diversity in the financial centres covered, I particularly welcome the study's findings concerning the decreases in costs for trading and clearing and to some extent also for settlement services since 2006. This confirms the positive impact on competition of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Code of Conduct on clearing and settlement. I encourage market participants to continue supporting our efforts to improve transparency and carry out sound policies based on facts."

View Monitoring prices, costs and volumes of trading and post-trading services, 16 July 2009