A group of retail broker-dealers, banks, financial services firms, and global market makers is gearing up to submit its application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a new equities exchange.

The Members Exchange or MEMX, is an initiative whereby founding members Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, E*TRADE, Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade, UBS and Virtu Financial, are seeking to introduce greater competition in the securities game. They hope to operate MEMX as a national exchange.

“Participants in today’s equity markets deserve an innovative alternative that is aligned with their interests, which is why we are pleased to support the launch of this new trading platform,” said Vlad Khandros, managing director and global head of market structure and liquidity strategy at UBS.

In a release, the collaborators expressed the mission of the exchange, noting that in addition to bringing a new competitor to the securities landscape, it aims to improve operational transparency, reduce fixed cost and simplify U.S. equity trading. Further, the retail and institutional clients of the founding members will have their interests represented on U.S. market structure issues, the release said.

“The founding members of MEMX represent leading retail brokers, global banks and financial service firms and market makers – a diverse array of market participants organizing for the common goal of improving markets for retail and institutional investors,” said Douglas Cifu, chief executive officer of Virtu Financial. “The launching of MEMX is a testament to the market-wide demand for competition, innovation and transparency.”