The Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) Equity Underwriting Market study published on 27 January 2011, disclosed evidence of increased fees paid to investment banks since the beginning of the financial crisis. The study suggests that average fees rose above three per cent from around 2-2.5 per cent in 2003 to 2005. The OFT acknowledges that the increases can be explained, in part, by stock market volatility and consequently reflect increased risk. However, it believes that fees and discounts have been slow to fall in response to reductions in risk. The study concludes that issues surrounding the level of fees are best tackled by the market. Options include companies and shareholders, exercising their rights to information and negotiation, and to the promotion of greater competitive tendering. In light of the findings, the OFT has provisionally decided not to make a market investigation reference to the Competition Commission or to push for regulatory intervention.