Yet another aspect of banks' brokerage programs is coming under legal scrutiny: the fees they charge for a popular new breed of account that helps customers diversify their investments.

Great Western Financial Corp. this week was hit with a lawsuit alleging that it failed to disclose fees and expenses adequately on one of its flagship brokerage products, the Sierra Asset Management account. The Chatsworth, Calif.-based thrift disputes the claims and says it is prepared to fight the case in court.

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