SAN FRANCISO – To link customers to brokerage accounts, Wells Fargo & Co. recently announced it will cut online trading fees for investors who have $25,000 in balances at the bank. Investors will see a reduction in commissions on stock and mutual fund trades to $9.95, down from $19.95 for each stock trade and as much as $35 to buy or sell mutual funds. To qualify for the lower fee, customers must have at least $25,000 in combined balances such as savings accounts, checking, CDs, IRAs and brokerage accounts. Wells Fargo is also including auto loans, credit card balances and 10% of any mortgage balances. For balances over $100,000 the fee is $2.95 per trade and customers with more than $250,000 get 50 free trades every 12 months with any over 50 costing $9.95 each. Industry watchers say Wells Fargo is the first major bank to slash fees but brokerage firms such as Fidelity Investment, E*Trade Financial Corp. and Charles Schwab Corp. have all recently cut trading costs for active traders.

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