U.S. Clearing, Fleet Financial Group's securities clearing division, said Wednesday that it will provide clearing and on-line trading to a firm that markets to the gay community.

Established in October 1998, the New York-based Gay Financial Network provides a range of financial services to gays and lesbians, said Walter B. Schubert, the founder and chairman. Mr. Schubert says his firm acts as a bridge between the community and "gay friendly" financial services companies, including insurers and mortgage providers.

Through U.S. Clearing, customers of the firm's brokerage unit GFN Investments can trade securities on-line for a minimum of $14.95 and access up to 3,000 mutual funds, 220 of which do not carry a transaction fee. GFN previously used FarSight Financial Services, a Cambridge, Mass., clearing firm that charges $19.95 for on-line trading, Mr. Schubert said.

U.S. Clearing, based in New York, clears for 390 brokerages, including roughly 200 banks, a spokeswoman said. Nearly three-quarters of firms that clear through U.S. Clearing use the mutual fund supermarket, she said.

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