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IT proves top spending priority for UK FS industry

31 March 2014  |  6529 views  |  0 London skyline - old Natwest tower and gherkin

IT looks set to be the top capital spending priority for the UK financial services industry over the next 12 months, according to a CBI/PwC survey.

In their latest quarterly poll of 87 finance firms, the pair found 50% more respondents are planning to increase tech spending than are not.

Insurance brokers and securities trading firms are both identified as sectors which will see a jump in tech investment but it is banks that leads the way as they upgrade their systems, provide new services and reach new customers.

Kevin Burrowes, financial services leader, PwC, says: "Banks need to adopt bold new strategies as they face challenges around regaining trust, legacy issues, regulation and technology. Digital must be at the heart of their business as new entrants such as challenger banks, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding all have one thing in common - digital platforms which make the most out of big data and really focus on customer needs."

The survey finds the financial services sector in positive mood, with 41% of respondents more optimistic about the overall business situation compared with three months ago, compared to seven per cent who are less optimistic, giving a balance of +34%.

Firms are hiring as well, with 45% of respondents saying that they increased employment last quarter and more expecting to in the next three months.

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