Investment banking fees dip to US$87bn in 2015

IFR 2115 9 January to 15 January 2016
2 min read
Steve Slater

JP Morgan earned almost US$6bn from fees linked to bond and equity underwriting, corporate loans and advisory work last year to pip Goldman Sachs as the top investment bank.

JP Morgan generated US$5.98bn last year to edge out Goldman, which earned US$5.94bn, according to final Thomson Reuters data for 2015. The two banks were neck and neck throughout the year, and each ended with a market share of just under 7%.

Industry fees totalled US$86.9bn in 2015, down 7.9% from US$94.4bn in 2014, which was the second highest year behind the record US$103bn set in 2007.

Bank of America ranked third last year, Morgan Stanley was fourth and Citigroup filled a top five dominated by US banks.

Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays were respectively the top European banks, and the top 10 was rounded out by Wells Fargo and UBS.

The biggest five banks accounted for 30.5% of fees, up from 29.4% in 2014, to extend gains by the major US banks over their European rivals in recent years. Most of last year’s gain was due to a 0.9 percentage point rise in market share by Goldman Sachs.

Last year’s rise was mostly at the expense of the next five biggest banks, which all lost share, including declines of 0.6 percentage points at Deutsche Bank and 0.3 percentage points at Credit Suisse, the Thomson Reuters data show.

Banks’ fees were boosted by work on mergers and acquisitions, where income rose 7.7% from 2014 to US$26bn. Fees from bond trading fell 17.5% to US$20.8bn, equities income fell 12.8% to US$20.6bn, and fees from loans fell 8.8% to US$19.5bn.

Fees in the Americas dipped 3% from 2014 to US$48.6bn to account for 56% of global income. Fees in Europe fell 16.3% on the year and there was a 9.3% drop in Japan and 12.1% decline in the rest of Asia-Pacific.

Fees from deals in the financials sector accounted for US$26bn of last year’s global fees, down 13.9% from 2014 but still accounting for 30% of the global fees. Fees from the energy and power industry came to US$8.8bn, just ahead of those from healthcare, where fees jumped 36% from 2014 to US$8.4bn.

Global investment banking fees