HSBC and Merrill Lynch have announced plans to launch a joint online bank which will create 300 jobs in the UK and offer a wide range of products and financial services to customers globally.
The £1bn venture will be up and running later this year, and will serve retail customers worldwide except the U.S.
The new bank, to be called Merill Lynch HSBC, is targeted at wealthy individuals who earn between £100,000 to £500,000 in net assets. It will give them the opportunity to invest in global stocks for the same price as domestic shares.
Services that will be available include equity dealing, cash management, chequing, debit cards, statements and financial planning.
Merrill Lynch brings to the venture previous experience in on-line banking, and HSBC's contribution is their wide-reaching customer basis that extends into Asia and Europe.