On-line securities investors soon may be able to trade without paying commission according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Its management consultancy service director, Anthony Lipp, said securities broking revenues for Internet trading were being squeezed. If the trend continued 'trading commission could ultimately be cut to zero', he said. Already, on-line brokerages such as American Express Brokerage were providing free on-line trading services. 'As the brokers come down with free brokerage service, they will have to cross-sell other financial products to generate new revenue streams,' he said. As a result, on-line brokers would have to create virtual financial portals offering many types of products. Small brokers without the resources to build such portals would be forced to form alliances with banks, insurance companies and other financial-information providers. Because of the new business model, on-line brokers would tend to target 'valuable customers' with substantial assets who would be most likely to buy other products. Free on-line trading was unlikely in Hong Kong until deregulation of the current 0.25 per cent minimum commission rule, possibly in the first half next year.