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Online investors in the UK are being offered the chance to play the stock market without having to pay commission on their transactions. The promotion from Charles Schwab Europe applies to all UK quoted shares traded over the Web in July. "We see waiving the commission as a means of thanking our existing customers for their support during our first year," said Charles Schwab Europe CEO Bob Duste. "[It's also a] good way to encourage more people to try online investing, a technology which is rapidly transforming the world of private client stockbroking," he said. Since launching its service in the UK a year ago Charles Schwab Europe has traded more than £400 million worth of shares over the Net and around 1000 investors a week are joining the service. "It's a simple psychology," said Duste. "People like the sense of empowerment they get from the Net when deciding to buy or sell." Only when they're making money, though. It's unlikely they will feel particularly empowered when they lose their shirt. ®

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