Third of European Internet users bank online - comScore

Third of European Internet users bank online - comScore

Over 100 million Europeans visited online banking sites in February, a third of the continent's Internet users, according to figures from Web metrics firm comScore.

For February the total European Internet audience was 306 million, of which 104 million visited banking sites, says comScore.

Of 17 European countries individually analysed, Internet banking usage was highest in the Netherlands, with 52.9% of the total online population using it.

France saw the second highest penetration levels, with 49.9% of the total online population, followed by Sweden on 48.4% and the UK, 46.1%.

E-banking had the lowest reach in Russia, used by just six per cent of the total online population.

Overall, France had the highest share of online banking customers in Europe with 16.9%, followed by the UK on 16.4% and Germany, 14.3%.

The most popular banking Web site in February was Credit Agricole, which received 8.9 million visitors, The Lloyds Banking Group site attracted 7.3 million users, RBS seven million and Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, 6.7 million.

"Banking has become an important online consumer activity, and this is especially true in these uncertain economic times," says Gian Fulgoni, chairman, comScore. "The global recession has made people more aware of the value of money, more focused on their savings, and more determined than ever to keep a close watch on their spending."

Research from HSBC Direct last month suggests Europeans may be lagging behind their US counterparts. A poll commissioned by the bank found that 49% of Internet users conduct most, if not all, of their banking online.

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