Global investment banks generated their largest fees in the first nine months of the year for a decade, according to new data published today.
Investment bank fees topped $76.1bn (£57.4bn) in the year to September, a 14 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2016, according to data company Thomson Reuters.
Investment banks around the world have benefited from an uptick in bond trading, partly driven by movements earlier this year triggered by Donald Trump’s ascent to the US presidency. Bond fee income accounted for 31 per cent of total fees worldwide, up from 30 per cent in 2016 and 26 per cent in 2015.
American bulge bracket banks dominate the top of the list, with the top five fee earners all US-headquartered. JP Morgan retained its top spot with $5bn in the first nine months, followed by Goldman Sachs at $4.4bn.
Those banks helped the Americas account for half of global fee income, with a $38bn tally.
European banks increased fee income by 16.3 per cent to reach $18.8bn. Barclays remained the largest EU bank by fee income, retaining its sixth position worldwide at $2.6bn, while HSBC’s income rose by 27.6 per cent year-on-year.
Meanwhile Japan’s investment banks saw fees surge by 45 per cent to reach $4.1bn, its best performance in dollar terms since Thomson Reuters began tracking the data in 2000. Mizuho Financial Group was the top Japanese bank, with $1.26bn, but Sumitomo Mitsui has been one of the most impressive earners, with income increasing by 32.3 per cent year-on-year.
However, the most striking performance of the 17 banks earning more than $1bn in income was Bank of China, which saw fees rise by 89.9 per cent compared with 2016.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity also rose by three per cent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2017, although the number of deals was flat, Thomson Reuters reported.