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New York Stock Exchange 2002
Until recently, financial services were only offered by traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Banking was done at the bank, stocks and mutual funds were ordered over the phone by calling one's stockbroker, and insurance was handled by one's insurance agent. The advent of the internet has revolutionized the way these services are delivered. Consumers are increasingly demanding the convenience of online services. Purely Web-based financial services firms have emerged, creating new competition for those that once dominated the industry. This site is designed to introduce you to the various financial services that are now offered online.

This site outlines the changes in the financial services industry that have been brought about by the proliferation of the Internet. In particular, the banking, securities brokerage, and insurance industries are covered. The various types of services are first introduced, followed by a discussion of the Internet’s implications. The pure online players that have emerged in the latter part of the nineties are discussed in terms of their effect on the industry, and the responses of traditional businesses are identified.

The financial services industry has undergone tremendous changes in the past decade. The early nineties began a bull market that had continued until 2001. Congress repealed the Glass-Steagal Act in 1999—eliminating the segregation of different financial services and allowing financial conglomerates to emerge. The most recent and significant changes in the industry, however, are being created on the Internet. The benefits to consumers and businesses are obvious. Business that conduct online transactions benefit from reduced administrative costs and less dependence on their employees. This in turn reduces prices for consumers. Consumers now have the ability to comparison shop. They can also enjoy the conveniences of shopping whenever and wherever they wish. No longer do consumers need to travel to the physical site of a business during its opening hours. The added convenience and cost savings are present on both sides of the transaction.

The website owner is not affiliated with any of the financial institutions referred to in this website. The owner is not liable for any content contained in external websites, and is not responsible for any damages or losses, financial or otherwise, that may result from accepting the information in the website as fact.

Any queries should be directed to Christopher Young (youngc@ufl.edu).