Schwab (SCHW): More Bad News For Citigroup (C)

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Schwab (SCHW) said that trades by its customers dropped 18% from October to November falling to "408.0 thousand", as the firm likes to put it.

The market still seems volatile. All that moving around in stocks during October seems to have helped Schwab customer trading volumes. Perhaps November actually was more tranquil, or a lot of Schwab customers lost all their money and dropped out of the market completely.

Since trading levels help revenue generation at Schwab, the news is not good for its direct competitors TDAmeritrade (AMTD) and E*Trade (ETFC). In E*Trade’s case, its stock is at $1.14 and can’t go much lower.

But, the news is bad for Citigroup (C) as well. The big bank counts on revenue from its Smith Barney division, especially now that its businesses in derivatives, LBOs, credit cards, corporate lending and underwriting, and M&A have practically disappeared.

At Citi some clients are charged by the size of their asset more than the number of trades. With stock prices dropping and most accounts losing a huge amount of their value, Citi loses either way.

Douglas A. McIntyre