Financial services firms have seen the biggest fall in
business confidence for more than two years, despite rising business volumes.
Joint-research by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers shows
that 35 per cent of respondents claimed they were less optimistic than three
months ago, while 13 per cent were more optimistic.
Business volumes rose strongly over the past three months.
The sharpest rises were among finance houses, general insurers and insurance
brokers, while securities traders and fund managers saw declines.
Firms said they expect volumes to grow at about the same
rate over the next three months.
Douglas Godden, head of economic policy of the CBI, said, “The
global slowdown seems to have affected sentiment in the financial services
sector, despite continued growth in volumes.
“Competitive pressures mean that cost-cutting is not feeding
through to the bottom-line. It is there not surprising to see that employment
prospects are weakening.”