Online brokers target full-service rivals

Online brokers will target full-service brokers this year rather than try to dent the market share of the main player, CommSec. E*Trade's MD Brett Spork says the industry trend is now firmly away from full-service brokerage to the lower-cost online model. Online brokers say that lowering prices or aggressive marketing won't be the way they will compete, rather on functionality and service. Some new trading offerings such as margin lending and stop-loss options should stimulate activity. Research shows that, in the past, demand for more services and features has increased steadily. However, this demand stabilised last year, with clients now looking for an average of 12 features from their online brokers. The main feature continues to be price, followed by ease of use and access to relevant information.