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UK FDs more cautious than international counterparts

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERS in the UK are taking a more cautious approach to spending and investments than their international peers, according to a study by American Express.

The survey of 541 senior finance executives around the world found that 63% of the world’s CFOs plan to invest more to grow their businesses over the next year, while CFOs are keeping a tight hold of their purse strings in the UK, with 53% saying they plan to tightly control spending and investments to preserve profitability.

While UK CFOs plan to hunker down during 2012, almost six out of ten of those surveyed are forecasting a return to substantial economic growth at some point after the close of this year.

“With a backdrop of uncertainty and volatile economic conditions across Europe, this year’s figures show a substantial drop in UK corporate confidence and willingness to take risks, compared to 12 months ago,” said Brendan Walsh, senior vice president, commercial payments solutions, American Express Services Europe.

Foreign secretary William Hague recently criticised big business for complaining while sitting on large cash piles that could be invested to lead the economy out of the double-dip recession.

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