After months of searching, Unionbancal Corp.'s brokerage division has decided to extend its 14-year relationship with National Financial Services Corp.
National Financial, a unit of Fidelity Investments of Boston, is a leading provider of securities-clearing services to banks.
Unionbancal's brokerage, UBOC Investment Services, renewed its contract with National Financial for two years after looking over other vendors, said UBOC president Richard Smiley. "I gave them notice to see what alternatives were out there," he said.
Those alternatives included Pershing, a division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., and U.S. Clearing Corp., a unit of Fleet Financial Group.
The San Francisco banking company, which is majority owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., settled on National Financial "after quite a few months" of review, Mr. Smiley said. The decision was made partly because of National Financial's enhanced technology for reconciling customer accounts.
Separately, UBOC is kicking off a series of investor seminars on market volatility Tuesday, Mr. Smiley said. The sessions, to be hosted by mutual fund companies that sell through UBOC, are designed to answer customer questions about turbulence in the stock market. Fidelity will host the first one, Mr. Smiley said.
Seven more are planned before the end of November; Franklin Advisors and Van Kampen American Capital are to participate, he said.