The first quarter of 2016 has seen optimism fall for the first time in over three years as a result of financial market instability and uncertainty of the global economic environment.
However, business volumes continued to increase at a good rate with the exception of investment managers where volumes have experienced a fall.
Despite a fall in total operating costs, growth in profitability slowed last quarter. The trend across both business volumes and profitability is expected to continue in a similar vein going forward.
Overall employment has risen despite the continued cuts to headcount in banking. Looking forward employment is expected to be flat over the next quarter.
Firms show continuing concern over the increasingly competitive marketplace and the level of demand. In response they continue to look to reduce costs and invest in technology to improve efficiencies.