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Online shopping boom has tripled the number of shopping days left to Christmas, says first direct

06 Dec 2005

Stressed out Christmas shoppers can relax. Online and telephone bank first direct can reveal that the advent of online shopping has in effect tripled the number of shopping days left until Christmas from 18 to 54.

Basing its assumptions on the traditional shopping hours of the high street, the bank estimates that the 24 hour nature of the internet gives shoppers an extra 15 ½ hours possible buying time a day - a staggering two days of standard shopping hours. Not surprising then that this year 24 million shoppers are expected to spend £50 billion online, an increase of 40% on last year's spend1.

first direct pioneered the 24 hour banking revolution 16 years ago when it launched as the UK's first telephone bank. Having successfully transferred its service formula onto the internet, over 70% of first direct 's customer contacts and 40% of its sales are now made online.

Richard Kimber, chief executive commented, "The run up to Christmas can be stressful as people shop for the big day. As avid online shoppers, it'll be a relief to our customers to know that the internet has given them so much extra time before the big day!"

Even most online stores close for Christmas, unlike first direct . On Christmas Day when the nation sits down to turkey and Christmas pud, the bank's representatives will be talking to customers - on 25 December last year over 1750 customers called the bank - many to say happy Christmas. A further 12,000 first direct customers used internet banking on the festive day, many e-mailing their best wishes for the season.

ENDS

Media Enquiries to Amanda Brown on 0113 2766700 or amanda.brown@firstdirect.com

Notes to editors:

footnotes

1 Research from interactive Media in Retail Group

first direct has been the UK's most recommended bank, and has had the most satisfied customers, for the last 13 years consecutively (which is when the research began), according to research from MORI and Research International.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc serves over 110 million customers worldwide through over 9,700 offices in 77 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$1,467 billion at 30 June 2005, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the world's local bank'.

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