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; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
PROMOTED VIDEO
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
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

    Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

    £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

    Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

    £50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker