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July 27, 2005

SIA Opposes Brits on Unbundling

By Gregory Bresiger

(Traders Magazine, July 2005) -- The Securities Industry Association has "significant concerns" about the efforts of the United Kingdom's top regulator to break out soft dollar commissions.

"Some of our concern emanates from the general U.S. view that proprietary research is so integrated and interwoven with overall broker-dealer services that it cannot be effectively separated with a high degree of accuracy," wrote Ira Hammerman, general counsel for the SIA, in a letter to Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FSA, in its Consultation Paper of May 5th, recommends that bundled brokerage and soft-dollar arrangements should be broken out.

But SIA argued that the "emphasis on unbundling may deflect investment manager and investor attention away from the more significant factors relating to the broker-selection process." SIA also noted that brokerage commission rates are at historically low levels.