Germany's Comdirect is selling its UK online brokerage business to Lloyds TSB for EUR16.5 million.
Comdirect says it will book a pre-tax gain of EUR2.4 million from the sale to Lloyds TSB unit Execution Services Group, which is expected to be completed next month.
The move by Germany's largest online brokerage draws a line under its costly international expansion, following the sale of other loss-making overseas operations in France, Italy and Spain.
With 56,000 clients, Comdirect was the UK's third-biggest online broker. The four-year old business recorded its first profit of EUR74,000 at the end of the first quarter and was targetting break-even by year-end.
Comdirect CEO Achim Kassow told reporters: "Our strategy and investments are now focused on Germany. Holding on to the UK activities would have been too big of an investment."
Under new ownership, Comdirect ltd says it will focus on growing its institutional customer base and will build on its position in the covered warrants market by offering additional derivative products to customers later in the year.
Separately, US online broker E*Trade saw volumes fall in May, with stock trading for the month dropping 27.7% from April. The New York-based company reported about 114,711 daily average commission trades for May, compared with 158,638 in April.