Financial services on track for recovery

The quarterly survey by the Confederation of Business and PricewaterhouseCoopers said there had been a turnaround in sentiment although recovery has so far been slower than hoped for.

After falling sharply in the September survey, business optimism stabilised in December and has now begun to improve.

John Hitchins, financial services partner at PwC, said: ‘This latest survey clearly shows that the industry is continuing to focus on cost reduction and that the outlook for employment and investment remains bleak.’

Company plans for expansion remain very limited while capital spending is expected to be cut back in the year ahead, as is spending on marketing.

Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, said: ‘The decline in business in financial services has bottomed out but we have yet to see a resumption of the relatively strong rate of expansion that would be regarded as normal in this sector.’

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