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E*Trade to close UK operation, focus on U.S.: WSJ

(Reuters) - Online financial services company E*Trade Financial Corp will shut down its British brokerage business as the company shifts focus back to its core U.S. operations, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the decision.

Customers of the British unit, E*Trade Securities Ltd, were recently notified of the planned shutdown and were given the option to transfer their accounts to another financial institution or to liquidate their positions, the paper said. (http://link.reuters.com/dyz93t)

Recently, E*Trade rivals Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade moved ahead to shut down some of their European businesses.

European brokers have struggled to maintain profits this year as investors have quit trading due to continued uncertainty about the future of the euro zone.

E*Trade could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)