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Activity improves in financial services

10th January 2011

The UK's financial services industry saw activity levels grow strongly for the second consecutive quarter, new figures have revealed.

Research published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers showed 50 per cent of firms in the sector had increased business volumes during the three months to December, compared to 23 per cent experiencing a fall.

However, the survey also discovered that profitability in the financial services industry grew at its slowest pace for the past 18 months, despite the increase in trade.

John Cridland, acting director-general of the CBI, commented: 'Activity in the financial services sector grew strongly over the second half of 2010. But firms see growth slowing over the coming three months and expect another fairly moderate increase in profitability.'

He also pointed out that some sub-sectors in the industry expect to fare better than others, noting that banks believe business volumes will remain subdued while investment managers and securities traders think they will improve.

Over the weekend, prime minister David Cameron told the BBC's Andrew Marr that banks should consider paying smaller bonuses this year, in a bid to become more 'socially responsible'.
 

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