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[LONDON] UK financial-services employment fell for the second consecutive quarter as banks cut costs amid restrictions on capital and tougher regulation, according to a Confederation of British Industry survey.
Thirty-nine per cent of firms questioned said they expect employment to decline, more than the 26 per cent that plan to increase headcount next quarter, according to a study released on Monday by Britain's largest lobby group and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Transactions were unchanged in banking and building societies for the quarter ended in March, with the latter "stabilizing" after a sharp fall last quarter, the survey found.
"Headcount in financial services fell for a second consecutive quarter, driven by banks cutting staff as they make their business operations leaner," Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's director of economics, said in a statement. Banks are "refocusing activities as a result of new capital rules and regulatory requirements."
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc may cut more than two- thirds of its investment-bank jobs to shrink the securities unit and focus on the UK consumer market, a person with knowledge of the matter said in March. The bank may eliminate as many as 14,000 jobs at the investment bank, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details are private.