BALTIMORE -- Legg Mason is adding on-line banking to its on-line brokerage services and seeks help from an outside company. The brokerage hopes to decide on a partner within three months and to introduce on-line banking in the second half."We have identified two to three companies that we can work with to offer the services to our clients," said Louis Foran, senior vice president for sales and marketing. He would not say which companies the Baltimore brokerage has approached, nor whether they are Internet banks or software companies.

Like many other brokerages, Legg Mason said it recognizes that it must add on-line banking to its Web site to remain competitive, Mr. Foran said. Merrill Lynch, for example, said last week that it plans to roll out Internet banking services.

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