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U.S. investment banks strengthen global lead over Europe
March 22, 2017 / 12:32 PM / 6 months ago

U.S. investment banks strengthen global lead over Europe

FILE PHOTO: A J.P. Morgan logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - JP Morgan retained its place atop the global investment banking league table last year, with the top five places now firmly in the hands of U.S. banks, reflecting their domination over struggling European peers, data on Wednesday showed.

JP Morgan’s revenues from trading, mergers and acquisitions and other investment banking activity rose 11 percent to $25.2 billion last year from $22.7 billion in 2015, according to industry analytics firm Coalition.

That strong increase was mirrored by U.S. peer Citi, which rose in the overall ranking to joint second from joint third, a performance that far exceeded the average 3 percent decline across the 12 banks surveyed.

JP Morgan retained its crown in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) trading, its position solidified by dominance in G10 rates and foreign exchange trading. JP Morgan held the top two spots in all but one - municipal finance - of the seven FICC categories, Coalition said.

Morgan Stanley secured fifth place in the ranking by consolidating its leadership position in equities, meaning all top five spots are held by U.S. banks. In 2015 Morgan Stanley shared fifth spot with Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

U.S. banks now take in around a two-thirds share of the investment banking revenue pie, the gap widening consistently since 2011 when the U.S.-European split was roughly 50-50. But that may be about to reverse.

“European banks had some significant trading underperformance last year, which we don’t see repeating,” said Amrit Shahani, research director at Coalition. “They should improve, albeit from a low base. We expect them to maintain and build on their market share this year.”

Shahani said banks at the top and bottom ends of the ranking are taking market share from those in the middle.

H2 TRUMPS H1

The world’s big banks had a tough start to last year as worries over China and plunging commodity prices threatened to send world markets into a tailspin. Revenue fell 15 percent in the first six months, the worst first-half-year performance since the 2008 financial crisis.

But trading surged in the second half of 2016 thanks to the twin shocks of Britain voting to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election victory, and revenues followed suit as market volatility rose. U.S. banks’ total for the second half of last year jumped 37 percent to $24.6 billion.

Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, still in the throes of restructuring programmes, were particularly hard hit, and both slipped in the overall rankings to 6th and 8th place, respectively.

As well as Morgan Stanley, the winners included Citi, Barclays and HSBC, which each rose a notch to 2nd, 7th and equal 9th, respectively.

Most of JP Morgan’s revenue was accrued on its home turf, with the $14.3 billion from its U.S. operations up 10 percent from the year before. The bank also posted a 10 percent revenue increase in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations to $7.7 billion, Coalition said.

Deutsche was forced to share its 2nd place in EMEA with Goldman Sachs, which edged up from 3rd the year before.

The biggest shift at the top was in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, where JP Morgan stormed up from joint 5th last year to take the top spot outright. Its revenue of $3.3 billion was the same as Deutsche and Citi’s joint leadership total in 2015.

Coalition tracks Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale and UBS.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Anjuli Davies; editing by Mark Heinrich

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