According to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey, “Growth in business volumes picked up more strongly than expected in the three months to December 2015 and profitability continued to improve at a healthy pace.”

The CBI/PwC surveyed 100 financial services firms. Highlights below and the full article can be found here.
– 14% of financial services firms said they felt more optimistic about the overall business situation compared with three months ago, while 8% said they felt less optimistic
– 29% of respondents said that in volume terms their level of business was above normal and 18% said it was below normal
– Training expenditure grew strongly (+37%), exceeding expectations (+24%) and robust growth is likely to continue in the next quarter (+36%)
– 62% of firms see competition coming from new entrants – only slightly down on last quarter’s record survey high (64%)

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director for Economics, said:
“There is a great deal of uncertainty within the financial services industry over the impact of Fintech. Firms in most sectors are looking to upgrade their own platforms over the next five years rather than acquire Fintech firms. However, partnerships with Fintech firms are seen as a high priority by companies in some sectors, particularly finance houses, insurance brokers and investment managers.”

Kevin Burrowes, UK financial services leader at PwC, said:
“Cost reduction therefore remains a major focus but we see the issue of firms developing new products and making IT investments to fight off the rise of new competition as a new emerging trend.”

Burrowes also added a concerning statement on cyber–something we all wrestle with likely every day:  “Against this backdrop, the growing spectre of cyber-crime looms large and the threat of major attacks continues to stalk the entire financial services industry.”

Download CBI Financial Services Survey