Britain is lagging behind its European cousins when it comes to online trading.
According to the latest research from IDC, Britain has been surprisingly slow to develop, despite the fact that the UK boasts the largest number of online brokers in Europe.
Europe's online trading scene is set for rapid growth, as more than two million Europeans this year alone are expected to open accounts for buying and selling shares over the Internet.
Throughout Europe, the number of online trading accounts is expected to reach 4.4 million by the end of this year, up from 1.85 million accounts by the end of 1999, according to the latest estimates from market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).
By 2003, the number of online accounts in Europe is expected to have grown to 16.8 million, IDC said in a statement.
Despite a reputation for being conservative financial investors, Germans have embraced online discount brokering with a surprising fervour, IDC said. As a result, Germany is expected to see faster growth in online trading than other European countries.
Online trading is also gaining in popularity in other European markets, including France, Italy and Switzerland.
IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group Inc, the parent company of PC Advisor.