People's Bank of Bridgeport, Conn., has enhanced its Internet brokerage site and lowered on-line trading commissions.

On Wednesday the $12 billion-asset community bank dropped the price of an Internet stock trade to $19.95 from $28.95. This week People's also added real-time stock quotes, enhanced research, and mutual fund trading to its brokerage site.

"We wanted to be more competitive with the national outfits and the national discount brokers," said Robert V. Rodia, president and chief executive of People's Securities Inc., the bank's brokerage subsidiary. People's Securities is registered in 31 states and will be registered in all 50 within two months, Mr. Rodia said.

People's commissions fall on the low end of the spectrum for on-line bank brokerage fees, which range from around $20 to $30, experts said.

"I very much feel we're competing with brokers rather than bank programs," Mr. Rodia said. "We've been on the cutting edge, especially for a bank this size."

People's has offered discount brokerage services since 1983, and on-line trading for about a year. On-line trades account for about 25% of the brokerage's transactions.

-- Amy L. Anderson

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