An agent who buys and sells securities on a stock exchange on behalf of clients and receives remuneration for this service in the form of a commission. Before October 1986 (see Big Bang), stockbrokers on the London Stock Exchange were not permitted to act as principals (stockjobbers) and worked for a fixed commission laid down by the Stock Exchange. Since October 1986, however, many London stockbrokers have taken advantage of the new rules, which allow them to buy and sell as principals, in which capacity they are now known as market makers. This change has been accompanied by the formal abolition of fixed commissions, enabling stockbrokers to vary their commission in competition with each other. Stockbrokers have traditionally offered investment advice, especially for their institutional investors.

Accounting dictionary. 2014.

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