Large financial services companies spent much less on buying back company stock in the second quarter than they bought back in the second quarter of 2007.

Analysts at Standard & Poor’s, New York, have reported that finding in an analysis of stock buyback activity for the companies on the S&P 500 stock index.

Overall S&P 500 buybacks fell 44%, to $88 billion, S&P says.

S&P 500 financial services company stock buybacks fell 78%, to $5.8 billion, according to S&P figures.