Jobs and the Future of Work

The biggest risks to companies right now, according to business leaders

People cross an illuminated floor at a banking district in central Tokyo November 27, 2014. Japan's jobless rate fell and the availability of jobs edged higher in October from the previous month, government data released on Friday showed. Picture taken November 27, 2014.

Business leaders in Europe outline the biggest threats to their companies' success in Deloitte's latest European CFO Survey. Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Will Martin
Markets Reporter, Business Insider UK
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Business leaders across Europe see the geopolitical risks being caused by the likes of ISIS (also known as the Islamic State) and the ongoing European refugee crisis as the biggest threats to success for their businesses right now.

In Britain, Brexit risks are scarier than anything, according to Deloitte's latest European CFO Survey.

The report is a major look into the challenges facing the financial success of the biggest companies in Europe in 2016 and it shows that geopolitics dominates the minds of Europe's largest finance officers.

Deloitte says that the survey — which was carried out between January and March this year — presents "insights from nearly 1,500 CFOs based across 17 European countries on critical business concerns including capital markets and funding, business risk appetite and overall market sentiment."

1,500 CFOs from the whole continent may not seem like a huge number but the survey is a pretty good indicator as it includes bosses from some of the biggest listed companies in Europe's most important economies, providing a handy indicator of overall sentiment.

While geopolitics dominate, increased regulation, weak currencies, fears about financial systems, and deflation, are also seen as big risks on a country-to-country basis, as a great chart from the survey shows. Take a look:

 Which of the following are likely to pose a significant risk to your business over the next 12 months?
Image: Business Insider

Unsurprisingly, in Britain, the country's EU referendum is seen as by far the biggest risk to business right now, with more CFO's citing it as a risk than anything else.

Here's Deloitte: "In the UK, CFOs rank Brexit as the most significant risk for their business. This seems likely to have influenced the decline in UK CFO sentiment across the board (financial prospects -5pp, risk appetite -44pp, revenue expectations -23pp, operating margins -32pp, employment growth -41pp) in a period of already high uncertainty (+11pp)."

The Brexit referendum is dominating the UK agenda right now, with businesses and politicians alike devoting much time to worrying about the result of the vote. Despite this, as Deloitte's UK only CFO survey showed in April, many of the UK's biggest companies are unprepared for Brexit.

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