Page last updated at 02:53 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Finance chiefs 'in confident mood'

Canary Wharf
Deloitte's survey included 39 CFOs from FTSE 100 companies

Finance chiefs at the biggest companies in the UK are in their most confident mood for two years, a report has said.

The appetite for risk among chief financial officers (CFOs) is at its highest since the beginning of 2008, financial services firm Deloitte said.

Almost four in five of the 128 CFOs surveyed thought the UK banking system could sustain a recovery.

However, 48% said the economy was their biggest concern in 2010 as they expect any recovery to be weak.

Of the CFOs that participated in Deloitte's quarterly survey, 39 were from FTSE 100 companies and 47 from FTSE 250 companies.

The UK has been in recession for a record six consecutive quarters but is expected to have returned to growth in the final three months of 2009.

"CFOs recognised that a financial crisis required a focus on costs, cash and investor confidence. That response has paid off," said Ian Stewart, Deloitte chief economist.

"Today, businesses are lifting their eyes from the recession and are looking for growth in 2010. The economy and the financial system are a long way from normal but things are looking up."

Many finance chiefs were planning expansionary strategies this year, he added.

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