The 100th CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey paints a picture of strong growth and improved profitability, despite a quarter marked by political uncertainty and dampened gains in optimism. In the three months leading to September, growth in business volumes has accelerated to its fastest pace since 2007 and was followed by a strong bounceback in profits after last quarter’s contraction.
Tougher competition emerges as a concern for future growth, and the prospect of tighter monetary policy in 2015 could pose significant challenges for the sector.
There are also hints of a new ‘war on talent’. Stronger staff turnover points to a more buoyant employment market. This is a positive change following last quarter’s unexpected fall in headcount. However, firms are looking to hold headcount relatively stable in the coming three months, despite expecting skill shortages in some key areas.
The CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey is a quarterly trends report that discusses the health, perceptions and plans of the UK financial services industry.