This report presents the results of the 2015 H1 survey, which was conducted between 13 April and 1 May, prior to the UK general election and recent developments in relation to Greece.
Probability of a high-impact event and confidence in the UK financial system
- The perceived probability of a high-impact event in the UK financial system over the short term has increased for the second consecutive survey. The perceived probability of such an event over the medium term is broadly unchanged. 15% (+7 percentage points since the 2014 H2 survey) of respondents now consider the probability high or very high over the next year, 24% (+3 percentage points) between one and three years ahead.
- Respondents remain confident in the stability of the UK financial system over the next three years, but less so than in 2014 H2. Respondents are less likely to judge themselves very confident (21%, -15 percentage points since the 2014 H2 survey) and more likely to judge themselves fairly confident (69%, +11 percentage points). There has been a slight increase in respondents who are not very confident (+3 percentage points to 10%).
Sources of risk to the UK financial system
- The most cited risk to the UK financial system identified by respondents was sovereign risk (mentioned by 58% of respondents, +24 percentage points since 2014 H2). Specific responses on sovereign risk were dominated by concerns over European sovereigns, particularly Greece. Risk of an economic downturn was the second most cited risk (mentioned by 56% of respondents, -8 percentage points since 2014 H2). This was also the most frequently cited number one risk.
- Perceived risks from financial market disruption/dislocation have increased noticeably (+24 percentage points to 42%). Two thirds of these responses referred to concerns over reductions in market liquidity. The percentage of respondents mentioning UK political risk increased again, to its highest recorded level, (+15 percentage points to 40%). Concerns about geopolitical risk fell noticeably (-25 percentage points to 41%) but still remain elevated relative to the series average. The number of respondents mentioning risks surrounding the low interest rate environment fell (-4 percentage points to 29%) for the third successive survey. And finally, the perceived risk of cyber attack increased markedly (+20 percentage points to 30%) and is now at its highest recorded level.
Risks most challenging to manage as a firm
- Six of the top seven risks were also those listed as the most challenging to manage as a firm, but with a different ordering. Sovereign risk was seen to be the most challenging risk for firms to manage. However there was noticeably less consensus from respondents about the most challenging risk to manage than recorded in the previous survey.