E-Trade Financial Corp. said account openings and trading volume fell last month, because of a waning appetite for equities.

New retail accounts dropped 30% from a year earlier and 3.9% from December, to 75,141, the online brokerage and lender said Wednesday.

Total retail accounts rose 5.6% from a year earlier and 0.5% from December, to 4.5 million. The growth was led by a 14% increase in banking accounts from a year earlier. But the effort to expand in banking has led the company to be rocked by the turmoil in the housing market. E-Trade has since curtailed lending to deal with increased delinquencies and chargeoffs. Trading volume dropped 8.3% from January of last year.

Looking to calm nervous investors about its capital position, E-Trade said last month that its application to the Treasury Department for $800 million under the Troubled Asset Relief Program remains under "active consideration," though it could not predict when a final decision would be reached.

Total retail customer assets fell 2.9% from December and 36% from a year earlier.

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