Insurance brokers have expressed optimism about business conditions for the first time in more than two years, according to a new report by the CBI and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers (PWC).

The latest quarterly Financial Services Survey, conducted in May and June, found that brokers' business volumes improved "significantly" during the quarter for the first time in two and a half years.

General insurers also recorded a growth in business volumes over the quarter, but were more pessimistic about the future, and did not expect the growth to continue in the current quarter.

Brokers were one of just two sectors expecting any growth in business volumes over the next quarter.

The survey found that financial services companies increased staff numbers between March and June at the fastest rate for 15 years.

General insurance was among the sectors that recorded the strongest employment growth, with the broking sector also recording growth in employment.