Confidence in the domestic financial services sector improved marginally in the fourth quarter of last year, the Reserve Bank said in a report yesterday. “Confidence among life insurers rebounded despite the difficult underlying operating conditions, including weak economic growth, a depreciating exchange rate and high unemployment,” its March Financial Stability Review (FSR) report

said. It found that consumer confidence remained near “decade lows” in the fourth quarter of last year. The report said the Financial Services Board was putting into effect an approach based on the concept of treating customers fairly. It said global economic growth improved in the second half of 2013, and more improvements were anticipated in the 2014/15 financial year. This was largely because of a stronger recovery in advanced economies. In line with other emerging market economies, the local economy recorded “below-par” real economic growth last year, which led to a downward revision of the bank’s economic growth forecast for 2014. – Sapa