Retail brokerage Charles Schwab Corp scored the highest points in customer satisfaction in the US last year, overtaking Fidelity Investments for the first time, an online survey showed.

Schwab’s customer satisfaction increased to 80 in 2010 from 79 points in 2009, a Reuters reported on Tuesday, quoting a study by American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Schwab reported a 10 percent increase in trading volume in January year-on-year, with the daily trade averaging 511,800. By the end of January, the brokerage’s total client assets stood at $1.59 trillion.

On the other hand, Fidelity’s customer satisfaction fell by one point to 78 last year on annual basis.

The survey also showed that the range of customer satisfaction for the top four online brokerages also narrowed to the tightest margin since the study was first conducted in 2000.

"They're all coming together in terms of how they operate, which is ultimately a positive for the consumer," said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee Results, which conducted the survey for ACSI.

While TD Ameritrade Holding Corp’s score stood at 77 points, E*Trade Financial Corp saw its score increased by 3 percent to 76.

E*Trade Financial posted the largest increase in customer satisfaction, despite being the lowest among the four rivals, the report said.

The narrowing gap in the customer satisfaction levels will intensify the competition among the brokerages in acquiring new clients, Freed said.