HSBC, Merrill Lynch to Invest $1B in Online Bank

BOSTON (04/18/2000) - Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and HSBC Holdings PLC are spending up to US$1 billion to start a global online banking and investment services company.

With headquarters in London, the new company will begin operating later this year in the U.K., followed by Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan, the companies said in a written statement today. Operations will open in other parts of the world after beginning in those countries. However, the venture will not provide services in the U.S., the companies said.

Initially, the venture will be called Merrill Lynch HSBC, but a formal name will be announced soon. Edward Goldberg will serve as interim chief executive officer. He is now executive vice president of operations services for Merrill Lynch.

The new company will be owned 50-50 by Merrill Lynch and HSBC Holdings.

Merrill Lynch can be reached at http://www.ml.com/. HSBC, with headquarters in London, can be reached at http://www.hsbc.com/.

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