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TD Waterhouse Takes Online Brokerage Service to the UK

TD Waterhouse Group Inc. Monday became the latest online brokerage to hit London.

The bank, which had already established a traditional brokerage in the UK, launched its Internet version with an offering of commission-free trades through Jan, 8. Regular trade rates will be set at £12.95 (US$21) per transaction.

TD Waterhouse's (TWE) trades roster includes access to all UK equities on the FTSE 100, 250, 350, small cap and all share indices. The bank will also automatically send each order to four providers and choose the best price for the exact time of the user's trade order. Stock alerts can be sent by mobile phone as part of the service.

Stephen McDonald, CEO of TD Waterhouse, called the UK a "key market" for the company, which ranks as the world's second-largest discount broker with 3 million customers accounts.

TD Waterhouse Investor Services (UK) Ltd recently completed its purchase of YorkSHARE, the former execution-only discount broker of Yorkshire Building Society. The financial house will also soon enter the Indian market through a joint venture with Tata Finance Securities in India.

TD Waterhouse Group has earmarked US$100 million for its upcoming expansion efforts in Japan and continental Europe.

Both the UK and Japan have proven to be hot markets for ambitious Internet brokerages, particularly in the last six months. Since July, E*Trade (EGRP), Charles Schwab (SCH) and DLJDirect (DIR) have each established online services in both countries. French bank Paribas' holding e-cortal offers online trading in the UK and continental Europe, and is eyeing Tokyo as one the next markets to enter.

However, a new report from BlueSky International Marketing Inc. found that while nearly 700 companies offer transactional Internet stockbroker services in nine countries in Europe, imports are not performing as well as their domestic counterparts.