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E*Trade buys Advanta accounts

The brokerage's online banking division announces that it has purchased more than 15,000 customer accounts from the bank, bringing in more than $389.7 million in assets.

E*Trade Group has purchased more than 15,000 customer accounts from Advanta National Bank, the companies announced Thursday.

The deal brings in assets worth more than $389.7 million to E*Trade Bank, the brokerage's online banking division. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

E*Trade executives said the deal should boost its revenue and earnings, but did not give specifics. The accounts currently average more than $25,000 per account.

E*trade has been looking for alternative revenue sources, and recently announced plans to offer an online mortgage service.

E*Trade has been hurt, along with other brokerage firms, by the slowing economy, as trading revenues and volumes have dried up. E*Trade's stock has slipped from a 52-week high of $20.19 to close at $6.35 Wednesday.

Earlier this month, E*Trade announced it would write down certain securities to reflect declining market values, and take a $6.8 million pretax loss for the second quarter.