Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crisis, margin and profits

The FT reports the fall back in margins towards pre-crisis levels.

The trouble is, with margins near pre-crisis levels again for products like rates and forex, the free lunch enjoyed by the smaller boys is being taken away. Scale once more is king. Banks down the order in certain flow products should be asking themselves serious questions. Even including the crisis, the top five banks in equities, for example, have increased their market share by 10 per cent since 2006. As the level of concentration increases again, expect more money – not to mention heat – to be generated in the biggest dealing rooms.

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