The latest quarterly survey of the financial sevices sector by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) shows volume growing at the fastest rate for two and a half years. Companies say this signals the sector's recovery.

Although business levels are still below normal, significantly they are back to their pre-September levels.

General insurance firms, banks and building societies reported the greatest volume increases for the last three months.

PWC UK banking leader John Hitchins said: "Despite strong recovery in profitability and an increase in IT investment plans in recent months, businesses remain cautious about the outlook."