Internet Investor

Can it be co-incidence? As Halifax unveiled its results, the bank also promised to launch its ownfree Internet service provider. Within days, Nationwide Building Society dropped the monthlycharge on its ISP. At £7.50 a month for unlimited usage, Nationwide had been one of thecheapest ISPs, but that was before Freeserve. Now Nationwide has a service available to everyone,including non-customers.

Can it be co-incidence? As Halifax unveiled its results, the bank also promised to launch its ownfree Internet service provider. Within days, Nationwide Building Society dropped the monthlycharge on its ISP. At £7.50 a month for unlimited usage, Nationwide had been one of thecheapest ISPs, but that was before Freeserve. Now Nationwide has a service available to everyone,including non-customers.

Nationwide's ISP offers easy access to the building society's excellent Online Banking service, butthe services are independent. You are not required to use one to be able to use the other. The ISPallows access to all standard Internet facilities, the world wide web, e-mail chat and newsgroups.You may also have up to five e-mail addresses and the option of 10mb of web space. Helpdeskcalls are 50p a minute, on a par with the competition. You can pick up a CD-Rom from anyNationwide branch or download from the Nationwide website.

Freeserve hopes its embarrassingly high churn rate of customers will slow with the help of itscontent providers. Private investors can access free real-time share quotes through UK-iNvest.com,the financial and investment information site on the Freeserve Money Channel. But if you usethemutual.net as an ISP you may access real-time prices via Freequotes, which offers live feeds ofall UK stockprice data from the London Stock Exchange including the Alternative InvestmentMarket. Other financial sites will also offer real-time prices, if they want to stay competitive.

Which brings us to the LSE itself. The New York Stock Exchange has announced itsdemutualisation plans and the LSE is following suit. What will this actually mean to privateinvestors? Power, in a word.

Of greater significance even than Big Bang back in 1986 for the way the financial services industryoperates, the demutualisation of the London Stock Exchange is likely to be followed by trading onthe Internet, offering investors direct access to the market, driving the cost of trading shares downyet further.

The big markets in the USA, the NYSE and Nasdaq-Amex, losing market share to other tradingsystems and networks, are fighting a rearguard action against Internet trading. As the London StockExchange rapidly found out in October 1986, putting computers in stockbrokers' offices did awaywith the need for a trading floor. Now, putting computers in investors' spare bedrooms may well doaway with stockbrokers - unless they can prove their worth to their clients.

Nationwide: www.nationwide.co.uk

UK-iNvest.com: www.ukinvest.com

themutual.net: www.themutual.net

Freequotes: www.freequotes.co.uk

Robin can be reached at RobinAmlot@aol.com

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?