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Bank One clips Web bank's wings

The big financial institution says it will consolidate its online initiatives by integrating its WingspanBank.com customers and resources into Bankone.com.

    Bank One said Thursday it will consolidate its online initiatives by integrating its Wingspanbank.com customers and resources into its Internet unit, Bankone.com.

    Customers of WingspanBank, which operates solely on the Internet, will be shifted over to Bankone.com this fall as the financial institution said it wants to eliminate the expense of supporting the additional brand.

    "The group's first major initiative is to integrate the?experience, insight and resources of WingspanBank.com into all of our customer Internet offerings," James Dimon, chief executive of Bank One, said in a statement.

    The move follows attempts by Chicago-based Bank One to sell WingspanBank, which launched in June 1999. Last year, there was a report that Bank One had enlisted Morgan Stanley to advise it on the possible sale of WingspanBank.

    Internet-only banks have endured turbulent times during the past year, challenged by growing competition of traditional banks' Web initiatives and the growing concerns of consumers about Web security.

    Information on the integration of WingspanBank will be provided during the next several weeks, Bank One executives said.