Jobs at risk in U.K.’s financial sector

Stephen Beard Mar 31, 2008


Doug Krizner: We’ve already seen how the credit crunch lead to heavy job losses on Wall Street. Now there’s a prediction of thousands of pink slips in Britain’s financial services business. Stephen Beard has more from London.

Stephen Beard: The survey by the Confederation of British Industries reflects a growing mood of pessimism. Most of the financial companies polled reckoned the credit squeeze would get worse, and would last at least another six months.

The survey forecast that investment banks would be the first to shed staff. At least 10,000 jobs could go by June. Other forecasters say more than 30,000 jobs in London could disappear over the next six months.

Fund manager Justin Urquhart Stewart reckons the whole U.K. is more vulnerable to this downturn than the U.S.:

Justin Urquhart Stewart: The problem the United Kingdom has got, it doesn’t have the flexibility of the American economy and therefore really is a bet much more on a narrower number of industries — primarily of which the financial services industry is the most important.

Finance accounts for almost 10 percent of the British economy, and in recent years has produced more than a third of the U.K.’s growth.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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