Glimmer of hope for fees at start of H2

IFR 2298 31 August to 6 Septembert 2019
2 min read
Americas, EMEA
Steve Slater

Investment banking fees have picked up in the last two months after the grim first half, although banks have still brought in US$7bn less in revenues than the same stage a year earlier.

Industry revenue from debt and equity underwriting, M&A advisory and syndicated loans was US$64.4bn at the close of business on August 29, down 10% from the same stage of 2018, according to Refinitiv data.

But that year-on-year decline marks an improvement from the 16% decline in fees registered in the first six months of this year, raising optimism banks will close the gap in the second half. Bank executives have said the deal pipeline is encouraging, but geopolitical and trade risks are putting off dealmaking.

Among the top banks, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup have gained market share from rivals.

JP Morgan remains the leading bank to August 29 with fee income of US$4.3bn, thanks to work on 2,891 underwriting, M&A advisory and syndicated loan deals globally. Its revenues are down 12% from a year earlier and it had a 6.6% share of global investment banking fees, down 16bp from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv estimates.

Goldman Sachs ranked second with fee income of US$3.8bn.

BAML moved up to third spot, from fourth a year earlier, on fee income of US$3.3bn, down 2%. That gave it a market share of 5.2%, up 39bp from last year - the biggest increase of any firm.

Morgan Stanley slipped to fourth and Citigroup ranked fifth, as the big five US investment banks continued to dominate rankings.

Credit Suisse and Barclays were the leading non-US banks in sixth and seventh, respectively. Barclays’ market share of 3.2% was up 1bp from a year earlier - the only top 10 firm aside from BAML and Citi to gain share.

JP Morgan was well ahead of rivals for fees in the Americas with a 9.5% market share in the region. But it has been pipped by Goldman as top dog in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where Goldman had a 5.7% share. Bank of China is the leading bank in Asia with a 4.6% market share.