Online stockbrokers in the UK are reporting a record number of clients and a 42 per cent increase in business for the last quarter, signalling a rise in investor confidence in the market.
The number of clients grew to 395,000 in the quarter, while online trading volumes rose from a year-long plateau of around 500,000 trades per quarter to more than 700,000 in Q2 2003, according to market research firm Compeer.
Online trades accounted for more than one-third - 34.5 per cent - of all execution-only trades in the quarter.
Mark Powell, chairman of the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers (Apcims), says: "These are very encouraging figures for the entire industry. There is a growing optimism in the market."
The research also shows that private investors have reversed a 15-month slide in share trading volumes with a 20% rise for Q2 2003. Private client trading volumes rose by 21.3 per cent on the previous quarter and the total value of shares traded increased by 20.2 per cent.
Recent figures from Ameritrade suggest a similar rally in investor confidence across the pond. The US online brokerage house posted a rise in second quarter volume of 32 per cent.