CME Group hears complaints, may tweak planned fee hikes -broker

CHICAGO Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:11pm EST

CHICAGO Nov 22 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc, the world's largest futures exchange operator, may consider minor modifications to its plan to raise fees for traders in response to complaints from customers, a futures executive who met with company officials said on Friday.

However, the operator of the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange will not cancel its first substantial fee increases in five years, said Leslie Rosenthal, a managing member for brokerage Rosenthal Collins Group.

Rosenthal, a former CBOT chairman, met with CME executives on Thursday after he circulated a letter within the futures industry calling for the company to delay fee increases announced last week.

"The message that we got from the exchange staff is that this is a long overdue procedure that they think puts them into a standard that other exchanges have," Rosenthal said.

"The message was, 'We'll listen to things that can be changed in the spirit of cooperation,' but they're not going to back off it," he said.

CME on Nov. 12 said it would begin charging fees to those who distribute its market data. The fees took effect immediately for new data users and can be delayed until 2015 for existing users who qualify for a waiver.

The exchange operator also plans to increase transaction fees next year for nearly all its major products.

Brokers objected to the changes amid concerns they will increase costs and drive traders out of the markets.

CME declined to comment on the meeting with Rosenthal but said it will proceed with the fee adjustments. The exchange operator has said it was "mindful and sensitive" of its clients when determining the changes.