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Gloucestershire Business News

Financial services back on the rise says CBI

Financial service business volumes in the UK grew in the last three months of 2019 for the first time in more than a year and at the fastest rate since June 2017.

The quarterly survey by the CBI and services network PwC reported growth in all sectors bar life insurance - which saw a decline - and insurance broking, which was unchanged.

And volumes are expected to grow at a slightly quicker rate over the first three months of 2021.

The growth helped profitability grow at the fastest rate since March 2018 with more gradual increases over the next quarter.

But there was less optimism over head count and investment with firms planning cuts in the year ahead.

CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: "It's good to see volumes and profits resume growth in the three months to December for financial services.

"Unfortunately, the health and economic picture has sadly deteriorated since with restrictions tightening again."

She continued: "The first step to supporting financial services firms is to ensure businesses across the economy can survive to fuel the recovery.

"Then the Budget can focus on creating a balanced economic recovery, stimulating much-needed business investment and tackling systemic challenges.

"Meanwhile, work must continue on using existing pathways with the UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement to reach better outcomes for the financial services, particularly on equivalence."

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