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Full Service Brokerage Firms Leaving Business on the Table; New Research Identifies Ways Full Service Brokerages Can Improve Their Image Online.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Investors looking to open a brokerage account are increasingly turning to the web to learn about their options. Yet new research shows that most full service firms are leaving new business on the table by not making their case to prospects in a clear, compelling manner.

The new research released today by Change Sciences Group, Inc. looks at which full service sites answer investor questions directly, are easy to use, and are ultimately more persuasive to people looking for a brokerage account.

To get complete details on the research visit: http://www.changesciences.com/d/reports.html

"A significant opportunity exists for full service brokerage online. Show investors why you are different, and that you have a vision about investing and services they just can't get anywhere else. It's an opportunity that most firms are simply missing right now," said Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences partner.

The research looks at 23 full service web sites. Highlights include:

--Even the best site can improve overall by more than 50% by eliminating usability friction and creating content that is more direct and persuasive.

--The poorest performer is more than three times poorer than the best performer.

--Banks with brokerages are not universally falling behind.

--30% of the sites are making a compelling case to the online savvy investor, with only two doing it well.

--Only one site is making a compelling case to the independent minded investor.

--40% of the sites provide no information that seeks to communicate the value and values of the firm.

--Of those that do, only one truly succeeds at distinguishing itself.

--Only three firms answer all of the questions that prospects have about products and services directly, and only one does so in a way that is highly persuasive.

--All but two sites provide some content intended to address the needs of the investor seeking expertise, but only two are highly persuasive.

The three best sites overall are:

1. Smith Barney

2. Piper Jaffray

3. McDonald Investments

Other sites covered in the research include A.G. Edwards, Banc of America Investment Services, BB&T, Bear Stearns, Chase, DB Alex. Brown, Edward Jones, Marshall & Ilsley, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, NatCity Investments Inc., PNC Investments, Raymond James, RBC Dain Rauscher, UBS, US Bancorp, Wachovia Securities, Washington Mutual Financial, Wells Fargo, and Wilmington Trust.

For the complete site ranking, more highlights, sample data, a table of all URLs evaluated, and more information about other Change Sciences research visit: http://www.changesciences.com/d/reports.html

About Change Sciences

Change Sciences was founded in January 2000 to help companies optimize online business by basing decisions on how people use technology while they live, work, and play
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 28, 2006
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