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Poor Bankers: Investment Banking Fees Fall to Lowest Since 2009

Traders At The NYSE As U.S. Stocks Rally to Halt Five-Day LossTraders At The NYSE As U.S. Stocks Rally to Halt Five-Day Loss
Brad Loncar has created an index fund for cancer immunotherapies.Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Global investment banking fees fell 29% in the first quarter of 2016 from a year earlier as market volatility put a brake on dealmaking and equity and debt capital markets activity, Thomson Reuters data published on Monday showed.

Global fees for services ranging from merger and acquisitions advisory services to capital markets underwriting reached $16.2 billion by the end of March, the slowest first quarter for fees since 2009.

Regionally, fees in the Americas totaled $8.7 billion, down 32% from last year. Fees in Europe were down 27% at $3.9 billion and the Asia-Pacific region saw an 18% decline to $2.6 billion.

Investment banking income was dragged down across all products as global markets were hit by volatility sparked by global growth worries, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and a China slowdown.

Company boards and their chief executives were deterred from pulling the trigger on big transformative deals, in contrast to the record levels of activity seen last year, although the quarter saw a flurry of Chinese companies seeking Western targets.

Equity capital markets fees saw the steepest decline of 48% compared to a year ago, followed by a 26% fall in debt capital markets fees and an 18% decline in M&A revenue.

JPMorgan (JPM) topped the global league table for fees, drawing in $1.2 billion during the quarter, a decline of 23% compared to a year earlier but gaining slightly in overall wallet share.

The top five banks were all American, but European banks Barclays (BCS) and Credit Suisse (CSGKF) each gained one place to rank sixth and seventh respectively.