At least 10,000 jobs could be lost in the UK’s financial services industry during the next three months, according to a forecast by the UKs CBI (Confederation of British Industry).
The employers’ organisation’s quarterly survey of the sector found that most companies thought the credit squeeze would get worse in the next six months.
CBI chief economist Ian McCafferty said: “This is a very serious crisis.”
The report predicts that the UK will avoid outright recession, but says that finance jobs are already being cut.
Conditions in the financial sector which includes banks, building societies and insurance companies – have not improved since the credit crunch began six months ago, Mr McCafferty said.
“Some have suggested it’s the worst financial crisis since the Second World War,” he added.
“I think one of the key characteristics is that it will go on for quite some time to come.”
The financial crisis, which began after banks made huge losses on investments backed by US mortgages, has caused chaos on US and global markets.