Halifax moves into Internet banking fray

Now get a little eXtra help online, with the Halifax

The Halifax is the latest bank to embrace the Internet with the launch of an online banking and sharedealing service Tuesday.

It follows Internet banking offerings from insurance company Prudential and the Co-operative Bank. The Halifax says it will invest more than £100m in the venture.

The bank also plans an Internet banking service called Greenfield.co, to be targeted at non-Halifax customers. It could be available in six months.

Tim Difford, e-commerce manager at the Halifax agrees traditional high-street banks are being challenged by new entrants to Internet banking: "There may well be ISPs and others offering banking services, that has always been a threat just as it was when telephone banking was introduced," he said.

However, Difford believes customer trust and strong branding will help banks maintain their position in the Internet era: "We are not complacent but the trust and brand name we have established will help us in the online world just as it does in the physical," he said.