Stock brokererage firms enjoyed a 60 percent jump in income in 1979 over a year earlier, according to a survey of 2,500 firms conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the annual Staff Report on the Sercurities Industry, to be released today, the broker-dealers surveyed had a combined pre-tax income of $1.5 billion in 1979. Gross revenues for the year were $13.2 billion, a 31 percent increase over 1978.
The SEC also takes note of the rise in discounters on Wall Street.
The report says 97 firms "which could be identified as discount broker-dealers" earned $106.5 million in commissions, 6.7 percent of the industry total in 1979.
In 1978, by comparison, the SEC identified 86 discounting broker-dealers which earned 78.1 million in commission revenues, or 5.4 percent of the total for the industry. There were 77 discounting firms surveyed in 1977 which earned $49.8 million, or 4.7 percent of the industry total.
Discounting broker-dealers generally charger lower-than-normal commission rates, but they don't offer research and other services.
The report also shows that reports of the death of The Wall Street Establishment have been premature.
The powerful firms of the New York Stock Exchange, although small in number (15 percent of all firms) accounted for "90 percent of the total assets and 85 percent of the gross revenues of broker-dealers conducting a public business in 1979," according to the report.
Gross revenues for NYSE member firms reached nearly $11.3 billion in 1979, up 27.5 percent from a year earlier. The pre-tax income for these firms was $1.1 billion. "This was a 61 percent increase from the level obtained in 1978," the report says.