The number of US brokerage firms registered with the FINRA has been shrinking, with nearly 500 disappearing from the regulator’s books since 2011. In this FT Article Interactive Brokers founder Thomas Peterffy warns costs still need to be cut.
“The brokerage industry has become incredibly efficient. It’s all about taking costs out of the system,” Mr Peterffy said. “Only one-fifth of brokerages will survive. There will be fewer and bigger firms. Trading will be extremely cheap and efficient, and there will be more semi-automated trading algorithms.” Competitive pressures are expected to intensify in the coming years, due to technology lowering commissions while increasing costs. Investors are also moving away from individual stockpicking and towards passive investment strategies. The mounting burden of regulatory supervision, such as the labour department’s recent overhaul of retirement advice aimed at financial advisers is also seen as weighing on brokerages.