View more on these topics

Fall in business volumes and employment for financial services

Business volumes and employment in the financial services industry fell over the past three months, ending a year of mixed fortunes, according to the latest quarterly survey by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

21% of respondents said volume of business was up over the last three months but 31% said it was down. The balance of -10 for the final quarter of 2002 compares with zero in the first and third quarters and +43 in the second quarter. They are less negative about the next three months but still expect business volumes to fall.

The decline in the volume of business is not large but for the industry as a whole it is the steepest since December 1992. However, the overall decline masks stark differences between individual sectors within the financial services with general insurers and finance houses reporting the biggest growth in business volumes. By contrast, substantial declines were experienced by fund managers, life insurers, insurance brokers and stock brokers.

Employment in financial services fell for the first time since the March survey but by less than had been expected. Employment is expected to decline more severely over the next three months, though the recent pattern has been for employment to hold up better than anticipated.

John Hitchins, UK banking leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says: “The industry ended 2002 in a worried frame of mind, reflecting growing concerns about a slowdown in personal sector business and specific fears on the state of the housing market. More jobs are likely to be lost in 2003 as firms grapple with their cost bases in the face of uncertain income prospects.”

Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economist, says: “2002 was a difficult year for many parts of the financial services industry especially those affected by the performance of the stock market. Across the sector as a whole, the sharp rebound reported in the April to June quarter prompted hopes that the industry would return to its more normal pattern of continuous expansion. But subsequent surveys, including this latest snapshot, show that difficult conditions remain.”


Principality director to retire

James Jamieson, financial director of the Principality Building Society, will retire in March 2003. Jamieson has been with the Society for almost 24 years, having joined as assistant secretary in charge of the accounts department. He was appointed general manager of finance in 1986 and finance director in 1992. He oversaw the development of the […]

Nationwide and Egg top the low interest league

Nationwide and Egg charge the lowest levels of mortgage interest among the top 35 providers, a Moneyfacts survey reveals. For a £100,000 standard variable rate loan taken on January 1 2002, £4,700 interest would accrue over the year to December 31 2002 with both Nationwide and Egg. HSBC is narrowly beaten into third place, with […]

Abbey celebrates single point of contact for intermediaries

Abbey National for Intermediaries is mailing over 20,000 of its intermediary contacts to mark the arrival of a single point of contact for intermediaries. The ANFIS new year card contains a message from Ambrose McGinn, director of sales and marketing. McGinn says: “When we launched ANFIS in September last year, we made a promise to […]

BoE figures show lending slowdown

The growth rate of mortgage lending slowed down in November 2002 after a strong October, reveal the latest figures from the Bank of England. Secured lending outstanding grew by £7.4bn or 1.1% in November, some £0.6bn lower than October&#39s rise. However, the value of loans approved was £22.4bn, £1bn higher than the average in the […]

Canada Life annual IHT survey results

75% of wealthy unaware of new residence nil rate band IHT allowance Just 4% were aware the new allowance will be up to £175,000 per individual Lack of awareness of IHT rules means families risk paying a bigger bill than they need 83% think the current inheritance tax rules are far too complex A remarkable […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up