Commissions institutional investors pay have fallen to 6 cents a share on average from 6.1 cents in the last year for agency, or non-principal, trades of domestic stocks, according to a Greenwich Associates study.
Among other findings, 17% of institutions permit short selling of their equities, up from 14% a year ago. Yet among larger institutions, those generating more than $5 million in commissions, the proportion allowing shorting declined to 23% from 27%.
Also, it found 45% of larger institutions permit stock lending, down from 47%. Of all institutions, 35% of institutions permit stock lending, up only slightly from 34%.
For big institutions, those generating more than $20 million a year in equity brokerage commissions, rates have fallen even lower than the average commission, to 5.8 cents a share from 5.9 cents.
These big institutions expect the rate to fall to 5.6 cents in the next year. All institutions, from small to large, expect commissions to fall to on average to 5.8 cents a share over the next year.