Financial services' recovery falters
Business volumes, profitability and confidence in the financial services sector have all fallen for the first time in 18 months.
To make things worse, average costs per transaction increased over the past three months at the fastest rate for nine years, according to the latest quarterly survey of the industry published today by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
John Hitchin, UK banking leader at PwC, said: ‘Overall in the quarter to September 2004, financial services firms experienced the downturn they had forecast in June. There is both growing evidence of a housing market slowdown and a fall in the demand for consumer credit caused by interest rate rises.
‘In the coming quarter, building societies, insurers, traders and fund managers have expressed concerns about the levels of demand across all customer segments.’