JPMorgan, the nation’s third largest municipal underwriter, and Charles Schwab, one of the world’s largest financial services companies, have joined forces to meet what they see as increasing demand from retail investors in the fixed-income market.

The agreement, three months in the making and announced yesterday, gives Schwab preferential treatment in JPMorgan’s new-issue and secondary municipals, as well as corporate debt and other fixed-income securities.

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