Euro banks spend billions on IT

The UK is leading the charge as banks invest in better Internet services

European banks are set to spend $3bn (£1.65bn) on Internet technologies by 2008, analysts predict.

A Datamonitor report, dubbed European eBanking Technology Strategies, claims spending on internet banking will grow by $800m from $2.2bn over the next three years.

The company says although the UK will be the largest e-banking market then, growth will be slower as many firms there have already upgraded their websites.

William Conner, financial services technology analyst at Datamonitor, said: "The internet is set to re-emerge as a priority area for technology investments. This reflects e-banking's growing effectiveness as a sales tool and banks' drive to refresh existing platforms."

Italy and the Nordic countries are places most in need of website upgrades, while Spain and Switzerland will be driven by a "few innovative banks", the analyst said. He continued: "Most of these banks have already invested in second-generation platforms and e-banking spending is therefore more likely to be incremental than transformational."

The report says better web content management systems will be required to help firms to achieve compliance.

"Moving towards a genuinely process-centric multi-channel architecture will be the foremost area of technology investment for banks. This will enable them to be more effective in web content management, analytics and personalisation," Conner said.