Charles Schwab & Co. has lowered minimum required asset balances that investors must maintain in certain accounts to avoid fees, the company announced Thursday.

For investors with a household minimum of $25,000 in a Schwab brokerage, education savings, college or custodial account, Schwab is waiving the quarterly $30 service fee. Schwab also wiped out fees previously charged to clients with at least $10,000 in individual retirement accounts. The new changes are likely to benefit 250,000 clients already on Schwab's books.

The discount brokerage giant said it overhauled its fee schedule to attract more types of investors. The move is also an about-face from earlier business models targeting wealthier customers and turning away individuals with more modest means to smaller competitors like Ameritrade.

"We are going to be relentless about creating better value for individual investors across all points of the wealth spectrum," said William Atwell, executive vice president of Schwab's individual investor enterprise. "We're not just continuing to offer solutions for people with more complex financial needs; we want to make it easier for smaller and beginning investors to take advantage of all our great tools, resources and advice."

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