The trade body surveyed 1,062 members, globally, between 28 September 2018 and 21 January 2019 about the economic prospects of the UK.
There was a sharp rise in negativity among professionals about the UK economy, with 55% holding a dim view this year compared with 35% in the same period in 2017/2018.
The survey also found around 21% felt ‘optimistic’, with 24% ‘unchanged’; compared to 30% ‘positive’ and 35% ‘unchanged’ during the previous year.
The CISI confidence indicator (the sum of positives plus or minus the sum of negatives) came in at -34, which is an all-time low since the survey first started in 2012.
Simon Culhane, the CISI chief executive, said: “Our survey results match those of the latest Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) member survey which showed confidence in the UK’s economy is at its lowest level since their report first launched in 2009.
“In addition, the CBI’s latest survey showing confidence of UK manufacturers’ outlook has dropped to -23, the lowest level since the Brexit referendum.
“Business’s abhor uncertainty, they can’t plan, they can’t invest and they can’t recruit and now, with less than two months before the UK plans to leave, we have complete uncertainty, so this survey result is no surprise.”
The effects of Brexit are something financial services professionals are not taking lightly.
Of the 109 individual comments made by respondents, the word Brexit appeared on 67 occasions.
Respondents’ comments to the CISI survey included:
- “Brexit will completely overshadow any minor gains made elsewhere. It’s going to be a disaster.”
- “Total uncertainty. Total anxiety. Complete disharmony and division.”
- “Ongoing political uncertainties delay decision making which in turn affects employment and future economic growth.”
- As the decision about our position in the EU continues things are not going to be settled for investment for now. Leaving the EU is a huge mistake, as globalisation continues, trading in blocks create better negotiating clout.”
- “Really worried about Brexit and its effect on the economy, the market and job security.”
- “Brexit looks like a total dog’s dinner and global risks seem to be on the increase.”
- “Brexiteers have screwed up the UK’s economic prospects in the short to medium term and in the long term nobody knows, not least the Brexiteers who never had a clue in the first place. Stagnant property prices and negative growth in investment portfolios will keep the lid on consumer confidence and by extension, demand. Happy days!”