If Charles Schwab & Co. has an advantage as it evolves into a competitor to full service financial companies, it may that its customer relationships have afforded it a unique degree of flexibility as it navigates between the worlds of brokerage and banking.

That has given the firm, which is entering yet another phase of reinvention from its roots as a phone-based, no-frills brokerage, the freedom to pick and choose offerings as no bank could. So while Schwab's assault on bank turf includes deals that have added mortgages, trust services and estate planning to its portfolio, don't look for it to match the competition every step of the way.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.