Large office requirements from financial institutions in London are likely to be put on hold as assessments are made on the affects of the global credit crunch, JP Morgan Cazenove warned today.

Speaking on the second day of the EPRA conference in Athens, managing director Robert Fowlds said employment freezes are expected across the banking sector and as a consequence, large office requirements will be shelved.

He said: ‘One of the big three US banks had an employment freeze in June – that is happening across the board now.’ He predicted that evidence of this freeze will unravel over the coming three months.

‘Any chief executive officer will think twice about taking a 200,000 sq ft-300,000 sq ft letting,’ he added.

But Fowlds also said that this may have an upside for the property market in the long term as a quelling of demand may curtail speculative development, providing occupiers with fewer choices, simultaneously ensuing a softer property market.