The Charles Schwab Corporation is an American brokerage and banking company, based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1971 by Charles R. 'Chuck' Schwab, as a traditional, brick and mortar brokerage firm and investment newsletter publisher. In 1973, the company name changed from First Commander Corporation to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. The company started offering discount brokerage on May 1, 1975, and would become one of the world's largest discount brokers. Schwab offers the same services as a traditional brokerage, but with lower commissions and fees. The company serves 7.9 million client brokerage accounts, with $1.65 trillion in assets (as of September 2011), from over 300 offices in the U.S, one office in Puerto Rico, and one branch in London.
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