Electronic banking is an experiment with great potential that banking regulators should let continue unrestrained for five years, even if consumers get hurt, Citibank's chief technology officer Colin Crook said Wednesday.

However, Mr. Crook said regulators may be tempted to intervene in the development of electronic banking on the Internet because of the likelihood of on-line crime. He told an American Bankers Association conference here that Internet banking could be a $1 trillion business by 2005, adding that "tons of fraud" is likely in its early stages.

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