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E-banking to have 10 million users in Europe by 2002

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Almost 10 million people in Europe will seek financial guidance via the Net by 2002. Banking applications will continue to dominate on-line financial services over the next five years. And on-line insurance sales will be held back by complicated products and powerful middlemen. But UK financial services companies are behind their European counterparts and could miss out on this growth industry. That's just some of the conclusions published by Forrester Research looking at trends in the online financial services market. The report says that the UK has got off to a slow start, and that financial services firms will be further delayed by concerns about channel conflict and exaggerated hopes for interactive television. A spokesman for NatWest took issue with the severity of the report saying even if the UK was behind the rest of Europe, then it wasn't as far behind as Forrester suggested. "The UK is doing an awful lot concerning online financial service especially with the development of electronic purse solutions," he said. ®

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