Survey finds financial service providers are more optimistic

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31st March 2017 15:40 - Financial Services

Survey finds financial service providers are more optimistic: According to the most recent CBI/PWC Financial Services Survey, optimism in the financial services industry has become more positive following four consecutive quarters of decreasing positivity.

The growing optimism follows the financial service’s longest period of decreasing sentiment since the global financial crisis of 2008.

The researchers surveyed 98 firms to reach its findings, covering life insurers, building societies, insurance brokers, finance houses, investment managers and general insurers.

The findings revealed that 33 per cent of the respondents were more optimistic about their overall business situation, in contrast with three months ago. On the other hand, 29 per cent said that they were less optimistic.

This increasing sentiment was illustrated by the fact that 34 per cent of firms seeing business volumes increasing recently. However, 17 per cent said their business volumes had fallen. In addition to this, 43 per cent said that they had seen an increase in profits recently, whereas 10 per cent said that their profits had fallen.

Improvement was also seen in income from investment, net interest and trading by 6 per cent. 8 per cent of the respondents said that they expected to see a further increase next quarter.

Of the different types of firms in the survey, the largest hike in business was seen by investment managers and building societies.

Amongst asset and wealth managers, regulation and legislation was cited as the main barrier to business expansion in the upcoming year.

The respondents also told CBI and PWC that in the next 12 months, they expect to see an increase in marketing and IT spend and a slight reduction in other forms of capital spending. This was attributed to the respondents wishing to increase speed and efficiency, to grow capacity and to tackle regulation.

Addressing the risk of cyber-crime is an increasing priority for financial services firms, with more than four fifths planning to invest in preventative technology and IT systems, and to test their defence and response mechanisms in the next 12 months.

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