Charles Schwab announced today sweeping price cuts and expanded services for both its retail and institutional clients.

   The company said the cuts, which will take effect July 1, will result in no retail client paying more than $12.95 for an online equity trade of 1,000 shares or less-down from the current top tier of $19.95 per trade.

   The company is also expanding access to tools and research that were available only to active traders or clients with more than $100,000 in household assets.

   Among the changes at Schwab Institutional are reduced and simplified pricing on mutual fund trades for clients, reduced fees for certain fixed income trades and the elimination of various service fees.

   The fees to be eliminated include a $20 charge for branch office check pickups and a number of Schwab One cash management charges, including $1 ATM transaction fees, $9.95 per month for electronic bill pay, $15 for stop payment orders, $1.50 for check copies and $9.95 for standard check orders.

   A variety of fees for supplemental brokerage account reporting and recordkeeping inquiries and requests have also been eliminated, as well as the $45 annual fee for company retirement accounts. Transfer of account fees are being reduced nearly 50%.

   CEO Charles Schwab, the company founder who came out of retirement two years ago, said the changes are the result of input from clients.

   "Clients have encouraged us to make our services more responsive, easier to use and more broadly available, and to make our prices simpler and more straightforward," he said. "Clients have let us know what matters and we have listened and responded."