The number of people employed in the UK financial services sector in the past three months grew at the fastest rate since the financial crisis began in September 2007, according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services survey.
The surprise growth in employment follows a slack three months trading, as volumes of business across the UK financial services sector grew in the three months to June, but at a slower pace than in the last three quarters.
Business volumes bloomed across all the sub-sectors, apart from banking and securities trading, where volumes fell, and insurance broking where business was fairly flat.
Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, says: "The financial services sector continued to recover over the past three months, but with slower volume growth, following three stronger quarters. What is heartening is the unexpected, strong rise in numbers employed in the sector, the fastest since the financial crisis began in 2007."
Firms sampled for the survey say they plan to invest more than average in the year ahead on IT and land and buildings, citing the need to increase efficiency and speed.
When asked what factors are likely to limit capital expenditure over the next year, uncertainty about demand was dominant, but the highest proportion since March 2008 cited shortage of labour, including managerial and supervisory staff.
In banking, business volumes fell slightly over the past three months, but the sector expects a more evident fall in volumes next quarter. Numbers employed had their first rise since the end of 2009 and are predicted to grow again next quarter, amid a "universal expectation" that more will be spent complying with regulations in the coming year.