Nearly half of US and European financial services firms have cut their technology budgets this year due to the economic crisis, according to a survey from Forrester Research.
The Forrester Business Data Services report surveyed nearly 950 senior IT managers across North America and Europe, 17% of which represent financial services firms.
Banks are the most likely industry to respond to market turmoil by slashing IT costs, with 49% of respondents saying they have already reduced their budget, compared to just 39% for the media, entertainment and leisure industry.
Across industries, 43% of businesses have cut IT budgets, while 24% have put discretionary spending on hold. Over a quarter - 28% - say the economy has had no impact on IT budgets.
As they look to save money big businesses are considering offshoring, with 43% saying they are looking to use it, compared to only nine per cent who currently use it.
This backs up research from business advisory outfit EquaTerra in June which found that banks are looking to outsource operations as a way of deferring investment in their technology infrastructures.
EquaTerra says tough economic conditions will contribute to annual spending rises of between seven and eight per cent in financial services outsourcing over the next five to seven years.