Lack of access and understanding is hampering the growth of insurance services on the internet, according to a new poll conducted by MORI.

The survey, commissioned by virtual broker Screentrade and on-line company Interactive Investor, canvassed 2,000 responses.

It found 15,000 people per week were using the net to arrange their finances.

However, 53% claimed a lack of access to, or understanding of, the internet stopped them from arranging their financial services on-line.

The survey's key findings were:
- 26% currently use the internet (compared to 21% in May)
- 20% are connected to the internet at home (compared to 14% in May).

Of the 1.8 million people to have used the internet for banking or buying financial products:
- 70% have used the net for banking
- 18% have used the internet for investing in the stock market
- 9% say they have used the net to take out a mortgage.

James Thorburn, product development manager at Screentrade, said: "Everyone knows that the internet has reached boom time.

"While it is clear that huge numbers of people are seeing the benefits of the internet to arrange their finances, it is important that we don't get carried away. We must make sure that a significant section of the population is not left behind."