Cost-cutting has been a hard fact of life in the securities industry since the bubble burst, but new numbers from the Securities Industry Association suggest that cost-reduction efforts are easing.
Between 2001 and 2002, broker/dealers reduced expenses by 23 percent. From 2002 to 2003 the rate of cost-cutting was just 9 percent.
It comes as little surprise that this trend corresponds with the stabilizing of revenues. Between 2001 and 2002, firm revenue dropped 23 percent. In 2002 to 2003, revenues were off only about 3 percent.