Futures Markets:

Preliminary Information Related to a Futures Transaction Fee

GGD-93-108: Published: May 17, 1993. Publicly Released: May 17, 1993.

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GAO provided information on futures transaction fees, focusing on fees charged by: (1) federal regulators of financial markets and institutions; (2) futures and securities exchanges; and (3) foreign countries that make up the majority of global futures trading volume.

GAO found that: (1) while the Securities and Exchange Commission had collected fees totalling more than 130 percent of its appropriations, other federal regulators such as the Farm Credit Administration were self-funded through fees and assessments, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fees amounted to only 5 percent of its appropriations; (2) futures and securities exchanges collect varying amounts and types of fees including annual membership dues, transaction and clearing fees, as well as other transaction-related and fixed costs; (3) although Japan is the only country that imposes a specific futures transaction fee, the United Kingdom and France collected other exchange-related fees or taxes to offset their regulatory costs; and (4) while this information is useful in comparing the extent to which federal financial and market regulators offset their regulatory costs, it is not helpful in determining the impact of a U.S. futures transaction fee on the competitiveness of the U.S. market.

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