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Another Australian Bank Enters Online Brokerage Market

One of Australia's leading financial institutions, St George Bank, has announced plans to launch a non-advisory online stockbroking service.

The Quicktrade service will be launched in October and users will be able to register within the next two months.

St George will work with HSBC Bank to provide Quicktrade, a St George branded and tailored version of HSBC's stockbroking service, InvestDirect.

The bank will utilise HSBC's trading platform and back-office experience and its income will come as a fee on top of HSBC's basic brokerage fee to the bank.

Users will have the ability to deal in Australian equities, international shares, warrants and options as well as receive stock quotes, morning and afternoon commentaries and portfolio management and watch list facilities.

"It is estimated that 30 per cent of St George's customers own shares and many of them wish to make share transactions more regularly and cost effectively." said Ed O'Neil, St George's managing director. "We understand they want to maximise trading profits and we believe that the new service will help them achieve this."

He said St George has established a leading position in e-commerce and the delivery of new products through the Internet channel is important to maintaining this position.

"It is clear that the online stockbroking business will become even more competitive in coming years and it is important that St George develops a relationship with an organisation such as HSBC which has the ability to meet these challenges now and into the future," O'Neil said.

St George's Quicktrade joins Commonwealth Bank's successful CommSec, which was launched two years ago, as online stockbroking services provided by Australian banks.