Banks reveal friendly spirit

While Westpac battles its competitors for the online consumer trading dollar, the bank has teamed up with its corporate investment foes to set up a trans-Tasman online investment portal.

The deal, which is yet to be approved by ASIC, will see Westpac, Deutsche Bank, Salomon Smith Barney and Warburg Dillon Read sponsor yeildbroker.com -- a free bond trading and research portal for institutional and professional clients.

Corporate customers will receive "virtually instantaneous responses" to price enquiries on Australian government bonds, selected corporate bonds, and New Zealand government bonds, the investment banks said in a statement to the ASX.

The portal will also provide institutional investors with access to the collective research resources of the four banks.

The portal, developed by Sydney-based Molten Markets, is scheduled for launch in May.

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