Online Banks Can't Go It Alone

Instead of revolutionizing banking, the battered dot-coms now seek to embrace their conventional brethren

When independent online banks started popping up three years ago, many people believed they would revolutionize retail banking. Net banks would attract swarms of customers, the theory went, by offering higher interest rates on savings and lower-cost loans than traditional banks, little or no fees, and convenience to boot. How could these new kids on the block afford it? Simple: They didn't have to pay for costly branches.

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