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NEW YORK-Nielsen//NetRatings, the global standard for Internet audience measurement and analysis, recently conducted a study which found that nearly 20% of active Internet users, or 25 million, surfed banks and credit unions’ Web sites from home and work during March. Bank and credit union sites also proved to be one of the stickiest categories on the Web with log-ons throughout the month averaging 52 minutes. The stickiest banking Web site was Bank of America, which attracted more than 6.1 million unique visitors for more than an hour last month on average. Citibank came in second with 5.5 million using the site, an increase of 57% over last year. Approximately 4.7 million individuals visited Wells Fargo’s site, up 34%, and while Chase Manhattan Bank garnered 2.9 million visitors. Bank One rounded out the top five with 2.8 million visitors to its Web site. “Banks are expertly using the Web as an additional channel to serve customers, with offerings that help make everyday banking easier,” Nielsen//NetRatings Senior Internet Analyst Patrick Thomas said. “Many sites allow clients to conduct multiple tasks such as pay bills, manage checking and savings accounts, and even access other financial accounts.” Middle-income individuals represented the highest concentration of persons using banking or credit union sites, while those with incomes over $150,000 only accounted for 7% of the total banking/credit union audience. Men and women nearly equally (51% and 49%, respectively) visited sites in the banking and credit card category. Individuals between ages 18 and 49 represented nearly 70% of the category’s total audience.

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