AN overwhelming majority (90%) of bank bosses around the world have signalled their optimism that revenue will increase this year, with the number expressing confidence the global economy will improve nearly three times greater than this time last year.

And more than half plan to take on more staff in the next 12 months, in most cases boosting headcounts by 5%, the annual survey of banking chief executives from PwC has found.

However, more than 70% believe cyber insecurity poses a threat to their growth prospects, with 60% stating that the speed of technological change will be a threat to development.

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The survey, which canvassed 133 bosses in 33 countries, found 56% expect the world economy to pick up, compared with 19%.

But it highlighted over-regulation, slow or negative growth in developed markets, and the response of governments to fiscal deficits and debt burdens as the biggest challenges to their prospects.

Kevin Burrowes, UK financial services leader at PwC, said: "Banking and capital markets CEOs are markedly more optimistic about the global economy and their prospects for growth than they were this time last year.

"To position their organisations to take advantage of this growth, they can't afford to fall behind the accelerating pace of change in their marketplace.

"Industry leaders see technology, including the digital economy, social media, mobile devices, big data and other developments, as likely to transform their businesses over the next five years."