LSE boss Rolet insists clearing charges push up trading fees

THE London Stock Exchange (LSE) yesterday stood by its claim that charges levied by clearing houses are mainly to blame for its high trading fees.<br /><br />Under pressure from rival platforms that are undercutting its business, LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet said last week that clearing charges made up two thirds of its fees for trading on the exchange. But clearing house Euroclear yesterday said LSE&rsquo;s own fees make up most of the cost of trading on the exchange, intensifying the spat. Pierre Francotte, chief executive of Brussels-based Euroclear, said he could not understand how either Euroclear or LCH.Clearnet, Europe&rsquo;s largest clearing company, could be responsible for such a high percentage of LSE&rsquo;s charges.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m at a loss to understand how we can represent about two-thirds of the cost,&rdquo; Francotte said in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday.<br /><br />LSE has been losing market share rapidly to rivals such as Chi-X, BATS and Nasdaq OMX Europe, which have been charging customers much lower fees to trade. Rolet said they were operating on unprofitable pricing levels that could not be sustained.<br /><br />A spokesman for the LSE yesterday stood by these comments. &ldquo;Our figures were based on feedback from our largest customers following our September cut in fees,&rdquo; he said.