The practice of paying brokers fees to reward them for maintaining assets under management for as long as possible may be resurfacing even as regulators weigh whether the practice warrants increased oversight.

So-called "consistency fees" have long been controversial and the National Association of Securities Dealers' regulatory division, in the last year, has been considering imposing new regulations on their use. But, also this year, the fees were cited in a Morgan Stanley Dean Witter report as a legitimate method for investment companies to reward brokers who retain fund assets.

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