Bank Direct launch not all as it seems

Despite BankDirect saying it launched an online share trading service this week there is still no such thing in New Zealand.

Despite BankDirect saying it launched an online share trading service this week there is still no such thing in New Zealand.

That’s because the New Zealand Stock Exchange’s Faster trading system still has no direct interface to the internet so all online trades must be processed manually.

BankDirect general manager James Mitchell says BankDirect’s new virtual trading room service allows customers to request buying and selling online through ASB Securities (the stock broker for the service) but the actual trade with the NZSE is done offline.

“It can’t be done until the NZSE allows it.”

The service does offer live quotes, personalised stock watch lists, the ability for clients to keep track of their own personal portfolio, market trends, and economic reports.

In February this year NZSE managing director Bill Foster said he hoped direct trading would be available by July but the possibility of a merger with the Australian Stock Exchange has put such a move on hold.

NZSE IS manager Wayne Zander says it’s a policy issue and has nothing to do with the technology, which is ready. He adds that the technology for a WAP direct trading service is also ready to go but is awaiting a decision on the merger. The low availability of WAP phones in New Zealand is another a factor which would affect the roll-out of such a service.

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