Roughly 10,000 jobs in the financial services industry may have been lost in the last quarter, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
There was an unexpected fall in banking and securities trading, and whilst there was growth in general insurance and investment management, it was less than previously predicted.
CBI did forecast a slight improvement in employment figures for the next quarter, however, and its recent survey suggests that confidence in the financial services sector is rising.
The CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey reports that confidence increased in the last quarter at its fastest rate since 2000, supported by a rise in business activity. Commercial and retail banking were areas of strength, whilst only the life insurance sector saw reductions in business volumes and confidence.
Whilst profits fell slightly, these were offset by a dramatic fall in operating costs, which respondents to the survey were confident would cause profitability to rise in the next quarter.
Lindsay Hayward, head of financial services tax at PwC in Scotland, said: ‘Banking appears to be more upbeat of late, with confidence increasing at its fastest rate since 2000.
‘This can be put down to a number of factors from a healthy rise in business volumes to strong activity with commercial and retail customers.’
‘While this doesn’t necessarily mean that credit appetite is growing, it does imply an improvement in economic performance.’
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