Microsoft Corp., which in recent years had managed to temper its reputation as a threat to banks, on Tuesday announced the formal debut of an account aggregation service through its MSN MoneyCentral Web site.

Microsoft joins a growing number of nonbanks developing Web sites that would usurp bank functions by giving people the ability to consolidate all their financial-account information in one place. These aggregators use a variety of methods, including the scraping of information directly from other Web sites, to collect information on behalf of consumers.

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