16.11.2001  -  München

In the online brokerage market, acquiring new customers is becoming harder / to gain a competitive edge, new online offers are decisive

Munich, November 16, 2001 – It is more and more difficult to attract new customers in the online brokerage market. Therefore, customer retention is increasingly important. To this end, one of the best strategies is to expand one’s range of services.

Currently about one out of three online brokerage customers would consider it a real value-add if - besides conducting their securities business with their online brokers - they could also use the online services and financial products of other banks, e.g. overnight money or time deposit accounts and fund investments. In addition, as many as 20 per cent say that the possibility of raising financing loans and credits or taking out insurance policies online would be such value-adds.

This indicates that the majority of online brokers in the German market do not yet exhaust the full potential of customer retention: until now, those customers from above have not found any online brokers, where they can benefit from such online offers at all or in a satisfactory way.

These are the results of the latest "Online Brokerage Monitor Germany 2001" by NFO Infratest (Munich). The study continuously analyses in detail the online brokerage market in Germany.

The researchers at NFO Infratest point out: moving towards one-stop finance is a promising way of acquiring and binding attractive customers, especially if those customers already buy and sell securities online. However, a different approach to the extension of one’s range of services is needed when it comes to the acquisition of customers who are Internet users, but still offline investors and who conduct their securities business in a traditional way, via telephone or head-to-head.

The decision of today’s offline investors for or against online brokerage depends to a great deal on the fact, whether or not they get enough support from an online broker in conducting their securities business. Therefore, online brokers should, above all, focus on giving those customers of the so-called “second wave” a feeling of support and comfort. Only then will an offline investor turn into an online investor. To this end, some brokers intend to establish own subsidiaries, which is one way to acquire new customers from the pool of today’s offline investors. Some other good possibilities are: online access to analyst reports and investment recommendations of securities experts as well as locally held courses on investments and securities.

Background information:
The “Online Brokerage Monitor Germany“ by NFO Infratest (Munich) has been carried out annually since 1999. The goal is a detailed analysis of the online brokerage market in Germany and its customers (= online investors), including trend analyses. Moreover, the survey comprises research on and a comparative analysis of the primary potential of online brokerage in Germany and the behaviour and expectations of the market participants (= offline investors). The focus of the survey varies, thereby guaranteeing that the researched issues are always highly relevant.

The current monitor is based on a total of 992 online interviews. 697 online investors and 297 offline investors were interviewed in October 2001. The survey participants were chosen from NFO Infratest´s ACCESS online panel. All those interviewed were security holders and users of online providers or the Internet at the time of the study.

NFO Infratest is an NFO WorldGroup company, one of the world’s leading providers of research-based marketing information and counsel. “Marketing Minds Specializing in Research”, NFO has facilitated Fortune 500 clients’ business decisions for more than 50 years by providing indepth knowledge and understanding of consumers and brands through research. Their services include comprehensive counsel on market evaluation, product development, brand management, customer satisfaction, pricing, distribution and advertising effectiveness. NFO is a worldwide leader in Internet-based research and maintains one of the world’s largest interactive panel communities. They are one of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), and have majority-owned operations in 40 countries, thereof NFO Infratest in 14 European countries.

TNS Infratest Financial Research
Michael Plotegher
tel. +49 / (0)89 / 56 00 - 1595
fax +49 / (0)89 / 56 00 - 1750

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