Small firms remain reluctant to trade on the internet despite the business potential this offers, according to a new industry body report.The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warns that only 18 per cent of SMEs in Britain trade online, while less than one per cent of that already modest group conduct all their business on the internet.Part of the reason for firms not using the internet is a concern over fraud, although the FSB notes that only six per cent of firms report having been victim to credit card fraud.The report follows recommendations from the Lords science and technology committee, which called for greater government involvement with businesses in fighting e-crime, as well as a national system to report suspected online fraud."The extent to which the UK's SME sector is engaged in e-commerce is an issue of considerable economic significance," said David Croucher-Jones, FSB home affairs chairman."E-crime needs to be given the same status as crime that is committed against a bricks and mortar business. Only when this is accomplished, by implementing the Lords recommendations, can more small businesses benefit from having a stronger online presence."Customers will also benefit from the increased choice and convenience that online security can bring," he added.© Adfero Ltd