Financial services company Sanford Ltd. has launched Australia’s first dedicated online investment bank Online Capital Partners (OCP).

Previously a part of Sanford’s retail online broking business the growth of financial services has led to its launch as an online investment business with a separate identity while remaining 100 percent owned subsidiary.

OCP managing director Simon Bell said the online bank is in the mould of Wit Capital in the U.S. utilizing only electronic communications with clients.

This provides real-time information to clients and according to Bell cuts the time from prospectus lodgement to an ASX listing by up to 50 per cent.

“This reduces a company’s exposure to the market and the amount of time an investor’s application is held in trust; with no hard copy prospectus to produce and no mailing out it is a large cost savings for issuers saving about two weeks,” he said.

OCP has established distribution relationships with six of Australia’s leading online financial services companies with a combined client retail base in excess of 300,000.

Bell said through Sanford’s Virtual Broker product OCP has access to 70 financial planner dealer groups with over 4,000 advisors and nearly 900,000 clients.

Sanford will also utilize its strategic alliance with UBS Warburg to provide ongoing research with teams based in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

OCP will manage and distribute product and security retail offerings in the US$2.6 million to $26.5 million range.

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