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Demise of e-stockbrokers predicted

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Three-quarters of Europe's 160 online-only stock broking Web sites will disappear by 2007, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

It reckons that they will be either be integrated into their parent banks, sold, or wound up.

The decline in popularity of online brokers - which were jolly popular a couple of years ago when the dotcom thing was at its height - is in line with the slump in stock market performance.

Analysts claims that punters are only trading half as much as they were a year ago, which means many Web-based brokers just aren't generating the revenue to survive.

The answer? Apart from the inevitable shake out in an over-populated market, Forrester says e-stockbrokers need to focus on serving the increasingly smaller number of frequent traders who trade ten times more often than other investors. ®

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