While other fund companies are beginning to gingerly say no to soft-dollars from brokerage firms, Massachusetts Financial Services has put an all-out ban on the practice, claiming to be the first fund company to make the move, The Wall Street Journal reports.
MFS, which has settled civil fraud charges in the scandal, said it has placed the ban out of a newfound commitment to ethics.
Certainly, MFS is going above and beyond the call of duty, the WSJ reports, as the SEC and the ICI have merely called for a restriction on soft dollars. However, a bill in the Senate would also eliminate them.
"Its all camouflaged," Robert Pozen, the new MFS chairman, said of how soft dollars obfuscate trading costs.
MFS objections to soft dollars echo sentiments Fidelity has just expressed in a recent letter to the SEC, calling for all of the elements in brokerage trading costs to be unbundled and revealed. Fidelity claims that soft dollars and other hidden costs push the cost of a trade to five cents a share, twice or even triple the cost of doing business on an electronic exchange.