If brokers thought the competition was tough before, things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better, warns Mark Frost, managing director of Capital Interactive.

In his speech entitled "ebusiness: the hungriest cannibal on the block ?", he said there was no level playing field anymore as the web has attracted the snake-oil salesmen of every industry. In addition, there has been faithful replication of the worst of business transactions because of the web, both business to business and business to consumer.

The choices facing brokers today, therefore, are to eat their own young, watch others eat them in front of you or explore entirely new dishes.

He said: "Don't just find the value – define the value through distinctiveness, access, availability and loyalty, It will not be enough to be innovative. What was distinct yesterday is no longer. It will not be technology alone that will determine winners, as sound business thinking remains the best defence. And though relationships are important, it might be best to focus on how to be the toughest competitor on the block."