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Company finance chiefs go defensive on Brexit fears

A new survey of finance chiefs has raised fears that spending and hiring plans could be rolled back at their fastest pace for nearly a decade as Brexit uncertainty continues.

Deloitte’s quarterly survey of chief financial officers suggests that cost cutting and balance sheet protection is becoming a priority for business leaders, with investment plans weighed on by the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

110 finance heads were polled by the consultancy, of which 78 per cent expected long-term business conditions to worsen, according to The Times.

Focus on cost-cutting has now reached its heaviest point for nine years, Deloitte says.

The paper quotes chief economist at Deloitte Ian Stewart as saying: “Uncertainty over Brexit is driving a marked shift towards defensive balance sheet strategies among British businesses. With the UK’s growth prospects heavily dependent on the so far uncertain nature of its exit from the EU, corporates are cutting back on capital expenditure and hiring, focusing instead on cost reduction.”

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