Major Canadian bank buys stake in AOL Canada

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TORONTO--Canada's Royal Bank has bought 20% of America Online's Canadian service in a $60 milliondeal that includes a marketing alliance and co-brandingpossibilities for the two marketers.

Royal Bank will use its AOL stake to expand its online banking in the U.S., where it owns Internet-based Security First Network Bank of Atlanta and discount brokerage Bull & Bear Securities, New York.

AOL in turn, wants to reach the No. 2 Canadian bank's10 million customers, of whom 420,000 bank online.

Details on co-branding efforts, service bundling or agency involvement are still being worked out.

Marketing for Royal Bank and its U.S. subsidiaries willrun across AOL sites and "the bulk of it will be bannerads," said a bank spokesman.

Toronto agency MacLaren McCann and its online unit, Initiative Interactive, currently handle the bulk of Royal Bank's advertising and online work.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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