San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. said Wednesday it would offer new low- and no-cost online stock and mutual fund commissions for WellsTrade, its brokerage account for self-directed investors, according to The Associated Press.

The company said combinations of bank checking and savings deposits, investments, IRAs, loans, credit balances and 10% of mortgage balances would determine commission levels.

"Many brokerage firms are focusing primarily on commission reductions for high-asset clients and frequent traders of individual stocks," said Rachel Perkel, senior vice president at Wells Fargo Investments. "The industry, for the most part, has shied away from providing great value to the long-term investor, particularly those interested in mutual funds."

In addition to offering lower fees for online mutual fund trades, Wells Fargo is also slashing commissions for customers with Portfolio Management Accounts who carry total balances of $100,000. These customers will pay only $2.95 per stock trade, and those with $250,000 or more in balances will qualify for up to 50 commission-free trades per year.

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