Differences in the cost of trade execution services on floor-based and electronic futures markets

Luke Gareth Bortoli, Alex Frino, Elvis Jarnecic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides new evidence on the impact of electronic trading on brokerage commissions by investigating a sample period that covers the period of transition from floor to electronic trading on the Sydney Futures Exchange. After controlling for liquidity, volatility and broker identity, the introduction of electronic trading remains to be associated with lower brokerage commissions relative to floor markets. The study also provides new evidence on brokerage commissions in futures markets finding that commission fees charged on futures trades average 0.002% of transaction value. This is up to 120 times smaller than the magnitude of brokerage fees charged in stock markets, and considerably lower than the magnitude of brokerage fees assumed for futures markets in previous research. Consistent with existing studies based on stock markets, commissions charged per contract decrease with order size reflecting economies of scale in the provision of brokerage services in futures markets. Commission rates are positively related to bid-ask spreads and price volatility, which proxy for the probability of execution error costs and execution difficulty, respectively. Finally, the identity of the broker is found to be a significant determinant of commissions reflecting different pricing schedules across brokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-87
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Financial Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Automation
  • Brokerage
  • Commission rates
  • Futures


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