US-based E*Trade Financial Corporation is to establish a national mortgage settlement service business which will be based in Pittsburg.
The new company - to be called E*Trade Settlement Services - is a subsidiary of the firm's mortgage arm and will be operational by Q4 2004. The business will initally employ 70 staff.
The new subsidiary will utilise the Vision System ASP service from ATM Corporation of America to process settlements.
ATM has previously developed settlement service subsidiaries for companies such as Citigroup, Key Corp, Conseco, Navy Federal Credit Union and America's Mortgage Co-op.
The US move comes as the diversified E*Trade business shut down its UK-based research arm, which provided independent analysts' reports via the group's institutional brokerage operation. The 15-strong team, headed by Martin Evans, former head of European research at Credit Lyonnais, was recruited last year as the firm looked to diversify from its core Internet trading business. Instead, the company now says it will invest more money in building up its direct access eletronic trading platform.