Charles Schwab, Britain's biggest online broker, is offering free share dealing for the month of July in a bid to encourage more consumers to play the stock market.
For the month of July, London listed shares can be traded on the Internet from the company's website at no cost to the user. The usual cost of trading is on average £25, with a minimum transaction of £15.
"We hope it will encourage users to experiment with online trading and discover that it is both cheap and easy," a spokesperson for Charles Schwab told VNU Newswire. "We also want to encourage people who are intimidated by the stuffy, pinstripe image stockbrokers have in Britain, yet want to and have the knowledge to invest online."
Charles Schwab has offered an online share trading service for over a year and since then traders using the website have exchanged £400 million worth of stocks and shares. This makes the company the largest ecommerce player in the UK market, according to Fletcher Research. Charles Schwab claims online customers are joining at a rate of between 500 and 1,000 per week.
Internet share dealing is increasingly popular in the US, and the thousands of so-called 'amateur' dealers buying and selling from home have been blamed for falsely inflating the prices for Internet stock.
But it isn't only the small fish who are attracted to online trading. According to Charles Schwab an increasing number of the largest and most sophisticated private investors are also being attracted to the Web because of the wealth of information and the exceptional value on larger deals.
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