DUBLIN -British bankers seem to have fallen in love with the concept of stand-alone Internet banks, and now just about every major banking company in the United Kingdom has introduced an online-only service with a quirky or whimsical brand name.

Last year, Britons were asked to place their hard-earned pounds in Internet entities called "Egg" or "Smile." Egg was hatched in October 1998 by Prudential Banking PLC and says it has attracted 600,000 customers in 18 months. Smile was formed in October 1999 by Co-operative Bank, which has not released customer numbers. Both these banks let customers pay bills online and do a variety of standard banking transactions.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.