(Reuters) - Members Exchange (MEMX), a new bourse backed by major Wall Street firms looking to take on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) through lower fees, said on Tuesday regulators had approved its exchange application.
MEMX said it still expects to go live in the third quarter after recently delaying its planned July 24 launch due to the coronavirus crisis, giving companies more time to connect to the new exchange and test its systems.
“We are excited to earn SEC approval in this challenging environment and appreciate the Commission’s thoughtful and timely review of our application,” MEMX Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Kellner said in a statement, referring to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
MEMX is funded and controlled by some of the biggest customers of Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE and of Nasdaq, and plans to bring pricing competition to an already crowded field.
There are 13 U.S. stock exchanges currently operating, while another, the Silicon Valley-based Long Term Stock Exchange, has received regulatory approval for a future launch, and yet another, MIAX Pearl, has said it is gearing up to offer stock trading alongside its current options trading operations.
MEMX founders include Bank of America Corp, UBS, Virtu Financial, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, Citadel Securities, Charles Schwab Corp, E*Trade Financial Corp and TD Ameritrade Holdings Corp.
Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co , and Jane Street Capital have also thrown their backing behind the New York-based company.
MEMX was founded in January 2019 with the goal of improving operational transparency in the exchange sector, reducing fixed costs and simplifying equities trading in the United States.
Brokers and traders have complained for years about what they say are unjustifiably high fees charged by most stock exchanges for market data and connectivity. MEMX said it will offer a less expensive model; fewer, less complex order types; and a basic market data feed.
Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Jonathan Oatis