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Shares in internet bank Egg soared on its first day of trading but online private investors couldn't make a quick buck due to technical hitches.

Trading began at 177.5p and reached a high of 190p and has since settled down to around 176p.

Egg customers were emailed shares last night with accompanying customer numbers and a link to the Lloyds TSB registrars site where they could trade provisionally online until trading in London opened this morning.

Technical hitch number one: The link to the Lloyds TSB site was broken, meaning that while the banking community could trade the shares, private investors could not.

Hitch Two: Egg customers could not trade even after the link had been restored. It transpired that a zero prefix had been omitted from the customer number emailed to investors - a human error that took some time to remedy.

A tenfold oversubscription meant that both private and institutional investors' applications were scaled back. The sale was expected to raise £150 million for Egg and £86 million for Prudential.

The 160p share price set yesterday by Egg's parent Prudential, valued interent banking offshoot at £1.3 billion.

Meanwhile, Abbey National has joined the fray as its internet bank, Cahoot, went live today. The bank is offering an interest free overdraft and credit card for a year to "at least" the first 25,000 people to sign up for an account.

Predictably, some users had trouble accessing the site - it seems Abbey National underestimated the demand for two grands-worth of free overdraft. No one at Cahoot could be reached for comment.

Those customers who miss the first wave of accounts will be charged between 7 and 11 per cent on overdrafts and will receive interest on accounts in credit of around three per cent.®

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