Consumers who bank online are set to be the big spenders - and savers - in 2001, according to research among more than 2000 UK adults conducted by Mori on behalf of Nationwide.
The study of consumer intentions found those who do their day-to-day banking online were most likely to be planning major purchases and be more financially active in the next six months.
More than one in five (22%) Internet bankers are planning to carry out major home improvements, compared with 11% of adults. Similarly, 21% are expected to buy a car, compared with 13% generally.
On the personal finance front, 16% of Internet bankers are expected to buy or sell shares (compared with 6% generally), 13% move home (10%), and 11% take out an investment savings account (6%).
The figures appear to bear out current market sentiment favouring a clicks-and-mortar approach to consumer banking services. Only ten per cent of the Nationwide sample carry out their banking exclusively online. Seventy-eight per cent use the telephone and 79% also use a bank or building society branch.
Jim Willens, Nationwide's e-commerce director, says: "Although we were the first organisation to launch a retail internet banking service in the UK, we have always believed our online services are there to give members more choice -not less - in the way they deal with us."
He says take-up of the Internet among Nationwide customers is steadily increasing, up from 29% in February last year to 36%.
"Few people want to deal exclusively online," adds Willens. "All but a minority want the option of picking up the phone or popping into a branch whenever they wish."