SunTrust Banks Inc. has opened a discount brokerage office in Orlando to expand its business in the Sunshine State.

The brokerage offices fill a vacuum left behind when the Trust Company of Georgia acquired SunBank of Florida to create SunTrust in 1984.

At that time, the head office of SunBank's discount broker was moved to the merged company's headquarters in Atlanta.

Since then, Florida custom-ers of SunTrust Securities, the holding company's brokerdealer, have had access to discount brokerage services only through a toll-free telephone network

"We're trying to reestablish ourselves in Florida," said Richard Parry, vice president and Fla--state mamager. "We've had a good track record, and now we're just trying to round out our offerings ."

SunTrust will keep its discount brokerage office in Atlanta open, as well as its office in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Orlando brokerage will primarily serve bank customers who wish to direct their own investments.

As with other offices, the bulk of the transactions are likely to be in equity and debt securities, Mr. Parry said.

Investors will have access to all major exchanges and securities traded over the counter through the National Association of Securities Dealers' automated quotation system.

The discount broker also offers cut-rate commissions, safekeeping services, margin and option trading, and automatic trade settlement.

Self-directed individual retirement accounts are also available.

Mutual fund sales normally are handled through SunBank's trust department and its full-service brokerage. The bank has more than $23 billion under management in its trust division.

More than 120 broker-dealers with Series 7 licenses operate SunBank's full-service investment centers in Georgia, Flori'da, and Tennessee.

Mr. Party is hitting the road to promote the discount broker, traveling from branch to branch in Florida. "Right now it's just me driving on the highway," he said.

A former executive at Charlotte, Va.-based First Union Corp., Mr. Parry hopes the discount brokerage will take off. He is cautiously expecting to expand the service sometime in 1995.

"I want to make sure that we can crawl before we walk or run," Mr. Parry said.

SunTrust Banks is a $40 billionasset bank hblding company with more than 600 offices in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee.

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.