Bank One Corp.'s on-line brokerage is the first bank-run Internet broker to crack the top 15 in Gomez Advisors Inc.'s quarterly scorecard.
Gomez, a Concord, Mass.-based electronic commerce consulting firm, ranks on-line brokers using such criteria as cost of trade execution, service, and ease of use.
Banc One Securities Corp. took 15th position in a field of more than 50 brokers offering on-line stock trading. E-Trade Group of Palo Alto, Calif., took the top slot.
Bank One's ranking is "a really encouraging development for banks out there," said Dan Burke, a senior analyst with Gomez.
Mr. Burke said a number of factors contributed to the bank's success, including its competitively priced trading commission of $20, which undercuts industry behemoth Charles Schwab Co.'s price of $29.95. Other factors, including the ability to connect to cash management services at the bank such as electronic bill payment, also helped, Mr. Burke said.
The next-highest bank-run brokerage is Bank of America's unit, which is ranked 37th.
Mr. Burke said Gomez does not count firms such as Waterhouse Investor Services, a division of Canada's Toronto-Dominion Bank, or Fleet Financial Group's SureTrade Inc. among bank brokers. "They're more divisions than a component," he said.
Merging Bank One's Web site with that of First Chicago NBD Corp. helped, a Bank One spokesman said. The former Banc One Corp. and First Chicago merged in April.
"We're trying to make it as easy as possible to make customers to do business with us," the spokesman said.