April 15, 2010 3:00 am

Canadian bank arm leads table of brokers

TD Waterhouse now handles more execution-only sharedeals than any other UK broker – when deals through its ‘white label’ services for other companies are included – according to the latest data from industry analyst Compeer.

Following its acquisitions of OMX Securities and the customers of Hoodless Brennan last year, TD Waterhouse's market share increased to 27 per cent of non-advisory business in the first quarter of 2010, compared with 13 per cent in 2005.

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Based on total UK private-client trading volumes of about 3.5m deals between January and March, TD Waterhouse and its services under the banners of NatWest Stockbrokers and several building societies now handle more than 300,000 trades a month.

"In terms of TD Waterhouse's ranking, in the January and February figures they have moved to number one among the UK execution-only stockbrokers for total trades including white-label business," said James Brown, benchmarking analyst at Compeer.

"These are private client trades and include UK cash market trades, contracts for difference, spread bets, collectives and trades on overseas markets by UK clients."

On Tuesday, TD Waterhouse's parent, Toronto-Dominion Bank, said it had reached an agreement to take full ownership of Internaxx Bank, an online private lender for selfdirected international investors. TD has held a stake in Internaxx, which holds £863m in customer assets, since 2000.

The Compeer figures include execution-only deals carried out by Internaxx clients via TD Waterhouse.

Compeer's analysis does not yet reflect trades by the ETrade customers that TD Waterhouse took over at the start of 2010. But Angus Rigby, TD Waterhouse chief executive, said his company's compound annual trading volume growth, which averaged 20 per cent in the past four years, had been as much a result of organic growth as acquisitions.

"Nothing independently has taken us there," Mr Rigby said. "There have been strategic acquisitions but we also have the best transfer in/transfer out ratio, in terms of new accounts coming in or going out to other broker firms. We average five in to one out."

He attributed the transfers in to the strength of the parent bank. "Being part of a Canadian bank that avoided the financial crisis has never been perceived in such a positive way. Clients changed their focus from chasing the highest return to 'is my money safe?' "

Barclays Stockbrokers said that when white-label trading services were excluded, it remained the UK's most popular execution-only broker.

"Barclays Stockbrokers has a brand that is instantly recognisable among self-directed investors across the country," it said. "That is why we are the UK's largest execution-only online stockbroker."

TD Waterhouse said it would continue to seek acquisitions and clients transferring from other groups.

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