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Online Share Dealing

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the effect the proposed Investment Services Directive will have on the lever of online share dealing. [117463]

The Government have considered the effect of the proposed Investment Services Directive on the level of online share trading.The Government believe that the proposed requirement for firms to carry out a suitability test before executing client orders would add significant costs to online share dealing services. These additional costs are likely to deter both firms from offering such services and customers from demanding them. Other things being equal, the proposed Directive would therefore be expected to reduce the level of online share trading.The Government believe it is important to ensure that execution-only business, such as online share dealing, is not compromised by over-burdensome and unnecessary regulation. We see such business as a helpful market development that facilitates freedom of choice and provides low cost access to a wider range of investors, thus allowing greater participation in securities markets.The Government are making every effort to ensure that the draft Directive is amended in such a way that will allow execution-only business—including online share dealing—to continue.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value of online share dealing was in each financial year since 1997. [117682]

Below are figures for the value of online share dealing for the financial years since 1999 (the first full financial year in which data were collected). These figures are taken from a survey conducted for the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers by ComPeer.1999—£5.5 billion2000—£9.6 billion2001—£8.8 billion2002—£8.3 billion.