Bankers less optimistic about economy

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U.S. Financial Services leaders are tempering expectations for the U.S. economy, based on the latest business optimism index from Grant Thornton.

While 61 percent of the banking leaders surveyed believed the economy will improve in the next six months, that’s down from 72 percent three months earlier. At the same time, 8 percent believe the economy will get worse, up from 3 percent.

“The financial services industry in particular is facing unprecedented change,” said Nichole Jordan, Grant Thornton national banking and securities industry leader. “As we approach the one-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, firms are still trying to get a handle on how they are going to meet the increased compliance burden, while still executing their plans for growth. However, the silver lining in this index is that financial services firms are more optimistic about their own business prospects – We’ve seen that firms are focusing on organic growth and mergers as ways to get ahead in the current environment.”

The majority of bankers, 58 percent, also believe Dodd-Frank will not improve accountability and transparency.