Brokerage firms make a play for your bank business, too.
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Wall Street's biggest firms, fresh from a massive regulatorysettlement over allegations that they published tainted researchand blackmailed corporate executives during the bull market, nowwant to be your banker as well as your stockbroker. Oh, andthey'd like you to pay more for the privilege, too.
Merrill Lynch rolled out a new program this year called BeyondBanking, offering customers with six-figure accounts such extras asFDIC-insured, interest-bearing cash accounts, direct-depositservice, debit cards, unlimited check writing, no-fee Internet billpayment and reimbursements for ATM fees paid to other banks.Meanwhile, discount broker Charles Schwab has applied for a federalbank charter and hopes to begin offering checking accounts, savingsaccounts and certificates of deposit as soon as this year.Brokerage industry sources say Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, UBSPaineWebber and others may follow.
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