206-year-old stockbroker finally gets online

London's oldest stockbroker firm Religare Hichens Harrison (RHH) has launched its first online trading service for clients.

The company, which began...

London's oldest stockbroker firm Religare Hichens Harrison (RHH) has launched its first online trading service for clients.

The company, which began operating in 1803, is using a managed service from NTT Europe Online.

RHH employs 60 in London.Through its website clients can now trade contracts for difference (CFD's), which allow investors to speculate on share price movements without the need for ownership of the shares.The website also offersspread-betting services where investors bet against each other.

Chris Cheverall, head of margin products, said before this service was launched clients would trade over the telephone.

"As a bank we already trade electronically and we are now allowing our customers to do it also. The world is getting smaller and we have to reach out to more investors," he added.

The company is looking to increase the number of retail investors (consumers who invest), as well as institutional investors such as large firms.

The number of retail investors is increasing with new technologies that allow people to get involved in the financial markets online.

Online gambling firm Betfair entered this market in November. It rewrote its original gambling software to offer consumers the opportunity to bet on the financial markets.

The company, which enables people to bet on the outcome of sporting events, is using the same business model in the financial sector through a service called Tradefair.

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