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HSBC sells Australian online stockbroking unit to E*Trade

HSBC is set to sell its Australian online stockbroking business to industry specialist E*Trade for $38.5 million.

HSBC Stockbroking is a non-advisory, online trading and settlement services business, covering equities, warrants and options, and also provides online managed funds and international share trading in 14 overseas markets.

After conducting a review of the business, HSBC concluded that the online broking industry is set for further consolidation and that the investment in technology required to remain competitive would become even more significant.

While we have steadily increased our customer base over time, E*Trade’s interest in acquiring the business and entering into an ongoing strategic alliance presented us with an attractive offer, said Stuart Davis, CEO of HSBC Bank in Australia. Their level of commitment ensures our 40,000 customers will continue to have access to a first class broking service.

Our strategy for growth in Australia places a strong emphasis on making full use of the HSBC Group’s strengths and participating in market opportunities where we have a strong comparative advantage. For our retail banking customers, this includes our new consumer finance initiative and, for our corporate customers, initiatives in areas such as project finance, trade finance, debt capital markets and payments and cash management, added Mr Davis.

E*Trade, the second largest online broker in Australia, provides online trading services to retail investors including equities and options. The company also provides trade execution and settlement services to intermediary and institutional clients.