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Confidence takes a tumble

Confidence among financial services marketers has plummeted,

according to the latest research from the Financial Services Forum.

The marketing confidence index, based on the responses of the forum&#39s

200 members, shows confidence has dropped significantly and steadily

in the financial services sector in comparison to eight months ago.

Less than 7 per cent anticipated any growth in headcount in the

marketing sector compared with 20 per cent in Dec-ember and 37 per

cent in June.

The research shows at the end of 2002, half of those surveyed

expected improvements in sales growth but this has dropped to 40 per

cent.

A third of the people thought that above-the-line expenditure on

direct marketing and advertising would be cut back, with a quarter

predicting below-the-line expenditure would be cut.

Financial Services Forum chief executive Anthony Thompson says: “In

June, we saw a high level of confidence within the industry and there

was a feeling that it was on the way back up. But this bullishness

has not materialised in terms of a better marketing environment and

confidence levels have dipped to their lowest levels since the index

began in 2001.”

IFA Promotion marketing manager Karen Barrett says: “I can see there

is uncertainty among consumers who are perhaps being more hesitant

about buying new products. But our figures are up – we have put 13

per cent more people in touch with IFAs than last year. This reflects

the fact that more people are looking for financial advice.”

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