Charles Schwab Bank is the consumer and commercial banking division of the Charles Schwab Corporation, a large U.S. financial group headquartered in San Francisco, California. Schwab grew quickly in the U.S. by offering discount brokerage services below prevailing rates, but later began offering banking services. Charles Schwab Bank services include deposit accounts and loans.
Charles R. "Chuck" Schwab began in the investment business in 1963 with two partners, but it was not with a brokerage firm. He published an investment newsletter called Investment Indicator. In 1971, still only as a publisher, he incorporated the business under the name First Commander Corporation, which was a subsidiary of Commander Industries, Inc.
Schwab bought up all of the Commander Industries' stock in 1972 and changed the name of the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in 1973. Two years later, in 1975, the company began to offer discount brokerage services.
Over the next two decades, Schwab's company grew exponentially to become one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, with offices in the United States and Hong Kong. In order to bring banking services to consumers, the Schwab Corporation launched Charles Schwab Bank in 2003.
While the corporate headquarters of Charles Schwab is located in San Francisco, the headquarters of Charles Schwab Bank is located in Reno, Nevada. As of the end of the first quarter of 2011, the bank holds $55.8 billion in assets. By the end of May 2011, customers taking advantage of Charles Schwab Bank services held over 736,000 accounts with the bank. In the home loans department, Charles Schwab Bank claims $8.6 billion in home equity loans and outstanding first mortgages.
Charles Schwab Bank offers several banking services for consumers. The bank links high-yield savings and checking accounts to free investment accounts as a means of bringing new customers into the investment market who would otherwise not be interested. The Schwab One brokerage accounts included with checking and savings accounts have no minimum and no monthly fees.
Full-feature checking accounts with Schwab Bank also have no minimums and no monthly service charges. The account comes with a free Visa Platinum Debit Card with no ATM fees. In addition, Schwab Bank refunds all fees charged by non-Schwab ATMs.
Savings accounts are another of the Charles Schwab Bank services that have no minimums and no monthly fees. Both savings and checking accounts come with several cash management banking services, such as online banking and mobile banking.
Charles Schwab Bank is a trusted name for personal banking needs. Customers who open checking and savings accounts enjoy free brokerage accounts to help them start investing or to maintain their current investments.