I read on page to create a new checking account at Charles Schwab Corporation in the US:

Your new checking account will be linked to one Schwab individual brokerage account. You can open a new brokerage account or link to an existing one.

That's echoed here:

When applying for your Schwab High Yield Investor checking account, you will also be required to open a Schwab brokerage account if you don't already have one. This brokerage account is opened automatically when you open a Schwab checking account,

Why would a financial services company force their customers to link their checking accounts to an existing or new brokerage account?

I wonder whether that's just a way to get more accounts or whether it is motivated by some other reasons, e.g. technical or legal.

2 Answers 2


Their main business is investments and money management, not banking. They're not interested in providing banking services on their own, they're interested in providing investment and wealth management services. As such, a cash management account ("checking" account) will only be provided to investment customers.

Some other companies do that as well. For example a while ago only E*Trade brokerage customers could open their high-yield online savings account. I don't know if it is still the case, but it was when I opened it several years ago.

There's no legal requirement to have a brokerage account linked to your checking or savings account.


Linking the bank account lets you invest, or disinvest, via electronic funds transfer. That's the least expensive mechanism for the broker. It also provides a channel for delivering dividends if you haven't told the broker to reinvest those.

Whether you intend to use those immediately or not, it isn't an unreasonable ask.

If you're feeling paranoid, ask your bank to open a new account with a minimum deposit, and link the broker only to that.

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