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British financial services firms expect to increase IT spending at a healthy rate in the near future, according to a CBI/PwC survey which also shows that combatting cybercrime is a growing imperative for the industry. After a tough, Brexit-tinged 2016, the survey of 98 firms shows that sentiment in the financial services sector has stabilised in the first quarter of 2017.

Building societies, life insurers, insurance brokers and investment managers all felt more optimistic than in the previous quarter, while finance houses and general insurers felt less optimistic.

Firms intend to cut back on most forms of capital spending but spending on IT is expected to grow strongly as it is seen as a key way to increase efficiency.

Combatting the threat of cyber-crime is a growing imperative for financial services firms, with over four fifths planning to invest in preventative technology and IT systems, and to test their defence and response mechanisms over the year ahead.

More than two thirds of firms plan to invest in cyber security training and awareness programmes and to employ expert security personnel.

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