Bloomberg News

LONDON - The number of Internet brokerage customers in Europe doubled in the first half, J.P. Morgan & Co. said.

Germany, France, and Sweden were the leading centers as equity ownership rose and an estimated 120 companies offered services, the banking company said.

As many as 2.9 million Europeans had active online brokerage accounts at the end of June, compared with 1.4 million in December, Huw van Steenis, e-finance vice president at J.P. Morgan, wrote in a report.

Germany had the most online customers, 1.55 million, at the end of the first half, or 54% of Europe's total.

In three years the number of online accounts is expected to grow to 17.1 million, the report said.

Measured by customer rosters, the top five European online brokers are Comdirect Bank AG; ConSors Discount Broker AG; Direkt Anlage Bank AG; Brokerage 24, a unit of Deutsche Bank AG; and Entrium Direct Bankers AG, which is owned by Italy's Bipop-Carire SpA.

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