NEW YORK — Consumers have yet to gain confidence in buying financial services over the Internet, according to a study released Wednesday by Mercer Management Consulting.

The study of 1,200 consumers found that new customers to financial Web sites have increased 150% since July 1999. Even so, consumers purchase insurance, loans, and mortgages online far less often than they buy computer hardware, books, travel, clothing, and other consumer goods.

Only 3% of the study’s respondents said they had taken out loans or mortgages online, and only 5% had bought insurance over the Internet. Only half the people in the study said they use automated teller machines.

“Consumers still prefer to conduct a large percent of transactions over nondigital channels, despite the fact that more than 40% express an openness to the idea of purchasing financial services over the Internet,” said Mike Riley, a vice president at Mercer.

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