Simple question but not something that I can see covered anywhere in plain English.
Are brokers the middle men? Why isn't the ASX just the sole distributor of data and brokerage services to cut out the middle man? It seems there's a multitude of legal and qualification requirements to become a broker. Is that the barrier to entry? What risk is there in owning a brokerage?
The only thing I can compare it to is mortgage brokers who essentially act as a marketing tool to spread the word. I still don't understand why the banks don't just do that instead in house? Is it purely just the manufacture-wholesale-retail process?
With todays electronic processing, why is it not centralised?
I realise I'm probably asking stupid questions but I'm trying to rid myself of my ignorance.