Big, one-time cost reduction programs rarely deliver sustainable improvements to their overall cost structure. As any experienced weight watcher knows, crash diets do not work. Once you stop dieting, you just put the weight back on. KPMG International and its member firms have found that this ‘cost boomerang effect’ shows that there is a clear imperative for executives to re-examine their approach to cost-reduction. In essence, financial services firms need to turn their recession-induced crash cost diet into a sustainable lifestyle change of productivity improvement.