Monday, a survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that a balance of 40% of UK's financial services firms reported a reduction in headcount, while the numbers employed in the sector fell at the heaviest rate since June 1993.

A negative balance of 38% forecast employment to decrease over the next three months. Staff turnover dropped for the fourth quarter running, reflecting nervousness about switching jobs and a shortage of vacancies. The financial services sector is expected to reduce another 15,000 jobs in the next quarter.

The latest Financial Services Survey found that record declines in income levels hit UK's financial service sector as business volumes continued to fall sharply. The sector tried to trim costs and alleviate steep decreases in profitability by cutting jobs at the fastest rate since 1993.

The survey was conducted between February 18 and March 4 2009. There were 90 respondents.

Only 9% of the responding firms said their business volumes improved during three months to early March and 56% reported decline, resulting in a negative balance of 47% which was the sixth quarter of steep decline. A balance of 10% expects volumes to drop further in the coming quarter.

Investment intentions for capital expenditure in land and building for the coming twelve months are at a record low. Uncertainty regarding demand was the greatest barrier to investment for a second straight time.

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