Staff numbers drop

THE number of people employed in the financial services sector has fallen more sharply than expected in recent months and dropped for the third quarter running.

Profits increased for firms in the three months to December and optimism improved but staff turnover remained high, according to the latest survey from the CBI and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

It found that employee numbers fell by -31 per cent compared with -9 per cent and headcount is expected to fall again in the first three months of 2013.

The number of survey respondents who said availability of professional staff was likely to limit the level of business over the next year rose to its highest level (32% per cent) since March 2006. Around 37 per cent also said a shortage of labour was likely to constrain investment during the year ahead.