how could they be so stupid? OSC and Five Other Provincial Securities Regulators Approve Settlement Agreement Reached in the Matter of optionsXpress, Inc. TORONTO, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Late yesterday afternoon, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) approved a settlement agreement with optionsXpress, Inc. in ahearing held jointly by video/teleconference with the Alberta Securities Commission, the Manitoba Securities Commission, the Nova Scotia Securities Commission, the New Brunswick Securities Commission and the Bureau de dÃ©cision et de revision en valeurs mobiliÃ¨res in QuÃ©bec. These six regulators approved the settlement agreement at the joint hearing. Four other regulators approved the settlement agreement by administrative processes. OptionsXpress is an internet-based securities firm in Chicago, Illinois. OptionsXpress permitted Canadians to open internet trading accounts to trade securities in the United States. The settlement agreement requires optionsXpress to pay a total of $550,000 to the regulators of the ten Canadian jurisdictions in which it was trading securities without registration. As part of the settlement agreement, optionsXpress' Canadian affiliate must obtain membership with the Investment Dealers Association and register with the ten regulators by December 31, 2005. Until then, optionsXpress is prevented from opening any new accounts for Canadian customers. Kelley McKinnon, Chief Litigation Counsel for the Ontario Securities Commission, lead jurisdiction for the settlement agreement, pointed to this settlement as another example of effective co-operation among provincial securities regulators : "By co-ordinating the settlement process, we were able to avoid the unnecessary expense and procedural complexity of 10 settlement agreements with 10 regulators. This serves our aim of reducing the regulatory burden on the marketplace." Copies of the Notice of Hearing, the Statement of Allegations dated August 17, 2005 and the Order dated August 31, 2005 approving the settlement agreement are available on the OSC website (www.osc.gov.on.ca).