Brokers who learn to exploit customer data will gain an edge over their competitors, according to Simon Hancock, technical director of Neural Technologies.

In a dramatically changing market where ecommerce is now the new market for the millennium, he told delegates that making the push for market share has never been more fierce. In this market brokers need to position and develop products to match customer's needs.

He said: "Put your customers at the centre of your organisation and get to know each and every one of them. If not, your competitors soon will."

He added that new advanced technology, inspired by the biological brain will help brokers gain further insight. Neural computing, he said, provides character recognition and predicts customer purchasing by using historical data to make predictions about the future. It can also detect potential fraudulent trading by automatically identifying any data that is unusual.