The CISI confidence indicator (the sum of positives less the negatives) is -34, which is an all-time low since the survey first started six years ago.
Many blamed Brexit concerns for their confidence deteriorating.
Of the 1,062 who responded to the survey, 55% were less optimistic about the UK’s economic prospects compared to 35% in early 2018.
Of those who responded, 21% felt more optimistic, with 24% unchanged, a decline from the 30% optimistic and 35% unchanged in early 2018.
The CISI, the provider of the Certified Financial Planner qualification and other wealth manager and mainly City-based professions, surveyed its 45,000 members between September and January this year.
Respondents were asked how they felt about the UK’s economic prospects compared with six months ago. The CISI has conducted the poll on average every 6-12 months since Spring 2012.
Of the 109 individual comments made by respondents the word “Brexit” appeared on a total of 67 occasions.
Simon Culhane Chartered FCSI, 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.
“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.”
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.”
- “Whatever form Brexit takes it will unlease new energy and I hope that the negative tone of the Bank of England and The Treasury will cease and that the huge entrepreneurial spirit of the UK will bear fruit.”
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