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Worst of credit crunch 'still to come', CFOs say

The worst of the credit crunch has yet to be experienced, business bosses have suggested.Deloitte recently polled 83 chief financial officers (CFOs) from top-350 companies in the UK - and found that 66 per cent disagreed with US treasury secretary Henry Paulson's recent statement that the most pronounced effects of the crisis had already been passed.In addition, nine in ten of the CFOs said that taking out a loan remained "costly" for their firm, while 77 per cent confirmed that credit was "hard to obtain" in the current economic conditions.This total is up on March's 63 per cent, and the 48 per cent who said the same a year ago.Partner and vice-chairman at Deloitte, Margaret Ewing, said: "The squeeze on liquidity is increasingly transmitting itself to the corporate sector through a reduced supply and rising cost of credit."She added: "Tighter credit conditions have triggered a major change in corporates' attitude to debt. Enthusiasm for raising borrowing - or gearing - has fallen sharply."

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