Thursday 25 April 2019

Gloom over the City: Mood of UK finance at its worst since the crash

General view of Canary Wharf in London (PA)
General view of Canary Wharf in London (PA)

Lawrence White

OPTIMISM about the business outlook among Britain's financial services firms has fallen at its fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis amid concerns about Britain's exit from the European Union, a survey showed on Monday.

Business volumes among the 84 top financial firms polled have also fallen at their fastest rate since September 2012, the survey by the Confederation of British Industry and accounting firm PwC showed.

The mounting gloom from banks, insurers, fund managers and other financial firms comes as UK Prime Minister Theresa May battles to get her twice-rejected withdrawal agreement with the EU through a bitterly-divided parliament.

Investment managers saw the sharpest fall in growth, the CBI/PwC survey said. Insurance brokers were the lone bright spot.

Employment across financial services fell at the quickest pace in four years, the poll showed. With Brexit looming that's in part because jobs are being shifted to Ireland, Germany and other EU bases.

Yesterday US banking giant JPMorgan was reportedly pushing 300 London-based investment bankers to sign fresh contracts confirming they'll leave the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, sources said. The contracts demand staff relocate to an EU country in a no-deal scenario, the people said. A spokesman for JPMorgan declined to comment.


Irish Independent

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