Confidence growing in City: survey

CONFIDENCE among City firms is growing on the back of strong business volumes and expectations of rising profitability, a survey shows today.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and PwC Financial Services survey paints a picture of steady recovery in the City over the past quarter, brightened by a boom in individual investment that has driven demand for asset managers and securities traders.

But in a stark warning to regulators a majority of firms said they would have to invest more in compliance over the coming year and 80 per cent believed the UK was losing its competitive edge as a financial hub.

Andrew Gray, UK banking leader at PwC, said bank confidence was at the highest level seen in five years, while interbank business volumes showed a heartening fall in the past three months.

“It reflects the fact that banks have done an awful lot to bolster their balance sheets and become self-sustaining over the past year,” he said.

Banks remain optimistic about the next quarter’s outlook, despite seeing little change in business volumes and profit falls in the last quarter.