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March 14, 2018

Better Markets Applauds SEC for Maker-Taker Pilot Program to Better Protect Investors and Fair Markets

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement following the SEC’s announcement of a pilot program on rebates offered by exchanges to attract orders, also known as maker-taker:

“In a victory for retail and long-term investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized and proposed a data gathering ‘maker-taker’ pilot program that will help the SEC gain a deeper understanding of the role rebates and other forms of legal incentives that large exchanges offer to market participants to attract orders.  These rebates and incentives have morphed into unhealthy and corrosive practices that have been shown to lead to lower execution quality for investors and pervasive conflicts of interests.  Broker-dealers should be making order routing decisions based on the best interest of their customers, not trying to maximize their profits by legal kickbacks in the form of rebates and other payments.

“While Better Markets applauds the SEC for its action today, we will review the details of the proposal when made available and submit comments, including suggestions for improving the pilot.  For example, we are troubled that the proposal excludes Alternative Trading Venues like dark pools and market-makers, many of whom are high-frequency traders that engage in the very practices that the pilot aims to study.  The pilot program must be sufficiently broad to ensure that the data gathered will enable the SEC to act on the many anti-investor practices that have become a routine and accepted way of doing business in our securities markets.  This can be and should be a first step in ending the insiders’ enrichment game and putting investors’ interests first once again.”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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