The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Finance and the internet: The new battleground

Forget about the euro. Forget about Y2K. These are no more than simple exercises in crisis management. E-commerce is what you should be preparing for: get the power of the internet around you. It is a power that is revolutionizing equities trading, a power likely to spread into core investment banking, in the process stripping away the inefficiencies previously integral to the financial system. Established market leaders already face an array of upstart competitors. There are new banks, new trading systems. Pricing and research are the main targets. All-comers now have access to liquidity. Huge amounts of research are freely available. Ma, Pa and the Belgian dentist can pile in there with the best of them. All under the cloak of anonymity. As a senior investment banker puts it: "This business used to be a pitched gun-battle. It could get messy but you knew who the opponents were. Not any more. It feels as if we're being shot at from every direction." Heed his words but don't delay in joining the fray. Three years will be too late. E-commerce is the power of the future. But it's here now. Antony Currie goes behind the wires to report from the new frontier.


Andy Klein

Bob Lessin

Philip Cooper

Jeff Max

Christopher Lynch

Chris Surr


Michael Paull













Investment banks are scared. They may well play it down but the fear is palpable. It's caused by e-commerce, a catch-all phrase for the many advances in technology centred on the phenomenon that is the internet.

The big players will try to convince you that what they are doing is keeping pace with, if not driving the pace of, the benefits that technology can bring. And there may be some truth in that. But we are now at a stage where the previous wholesale financial markets structures are beginning to break down as the internet spreads through them.

Exchanges and their members no longer try to work in harmony, battling instead against each other's rival systems. Retail investors, empowered by the web, are fast becoming much more proactive and influential, at least in US equities. And across the board investment banks face the prospect of traditional revenue streams contracting or disappearing altogether as the internet brings transparency and efficiency to once-closed areas.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree