HSBC and US giant Merrill Lynch are to create a joint global online bank and broker, offering the wealthiest members of society the chance to invest in overseas stocks. Merrill Lynch HSBC aims to target those in the $100,000 to $500,000 earnings bracket, and will invest $1bn initially.
Last year Merrill Lynch doubled its profits, due to the astounding increase in online share trading through its US internet banking business, although it remains virtually unknown to the British public.
The launch is due later this year in the UK, and will create 300 new jobs in areas such as research, equity dealing, cash management, chequing, debit cards, statements, financial planning and profiling tools. Once established, the bank plans to expand to Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and Germany.
Surveys anticipate that 50 million households across Europe, Asia-Pacific, Japan and Latin America will be actively investing on the internet in the next decade.
HSBC recently bought French bank CCF for 11bn euros, and sees the union “as a unique combination of broking and banking and a world first.”