Back to 1992 for tech investment

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We knew it was bad, but IT investment by UK financial services firms over the next 12 months is predicted to be the weakest since 1992. Vanilla Ice was a not-so-distant memory, Nirvana were in their hey-day and, of course, we were just emerging from two-year recession.

In contrast with optimism surrounding the financial sector generally, the latest quarterly report from the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers shows an overall balance of -28% of respondents predicting an increase in IT investment.

The report says: "Demand uncertainty is the greatest investment impediment."

Hardest hit was the banking sector, which hasn't seen such negative sentiment towards technology investment since September 1992. A balance of -60% of respondents anticipated spending more on IT in the next 12 months, the previous low was -41% in December 2008.

Investment management is also shying away from technology spend, with a balance of -41% of respondents anticipating an upturn in investment.

Even the previously buoyant insurance sector has tightened the technology purse strings. In January, a balance of 58% of respondents expected to spend more, but this has shrunk to -11% in this quarter.

Only the life insurance sector is likely to spend more (albeit only slightly). "Replacement and compliance with legislation and regulation were noticeably higher as reasons for investment, behind only the usual favourite of increasing efficiency," said the report.

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