British banks are set to face continuing tough operating conditions in the first half of next year, a new report has stated.
According to Ernst & Young's European Banking Barometer - which was published today (10 December) - financiers are likely to have to implement further job cuts, restrictions on lending and asset sales in the coming months.
For instance, around 66 per cent of banks expect their headcount to decline in the opening six months of 2013 - a significantly lower proportion than the 12 per cent recorded half a year ago.
Meanwhile, just 15 per cent of organizations expect to relax their lending policies for small and medium-sized enterprises and in excess of half feel they will have to sell assets before mid-2013.
Steven Lewis, global banking analyst at Ernst & Young, indicated that redundancies will be unavoidable, adding: "Banks will be looking to reposition themselves, exiting some lines of business."
By Asim Shah