Suretrade Inc., the deep discount brokerage division of Fleet Boston Corp., said it plans to make brokers available to customers 24 hours a day year-round.

Within two weeks, it will roll out a live help button on its Web site that will link customers who have questions to brokers by way of an instant message board, said Richard J. Hagen, a Suretrade vice president. Customers will see a split screen showing the information that prompted the question and the broker's response, he said.

The brokers will operate out of Suretrade's Lincoln, R.I., headquarters and from a new site in Scranton, Pa.

Suretrade has 360,000 active customer accounts with $1.7 billion of assets.

-- Niamh Ring

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