Asia bank fees trump Europe

ASIAN financial services have continued to grow on the global stage, showing a 22.2 per cent lift in investment banking fees taken in the region over the last year, as payments to European banks fell.

Companies in Asia surged to contribute £12.8bn last year, as fees taken globally by investment banks jumped nine per cent to $84bn (£54bn) in 2010.

European banks earned 12.3 per cent less for their service than in 2009, though fees still totalled $22.7bn, according to data provided by Thomson Reuters.

The payments were made by firms to investment banks for financial services including underwriting capital markets deals and advising on mergers and acquisitions.

Though deals across the market were up 10.2 per cent by volume, by value the gain was only 0.4 per cent, with smaller transactions dominating the dealflow.

In Europe the difference was even more marked, with deals up 8.9 per cent in volume but down 21.2 per cent in value.

US banks topped the review, charging $43bn between them and registering a 21.9 per cent increase on the previous year.

Among the top fee payers were US government-backed banks, contributing a total of $2.52bn.

State-backed mortgage lender Frannie Mae spent $884m on investment banking services last year, topping rankings compiled by data provider Dealogic.

Government-sponsored home mortgage provider Freddie Mac placed second, paying $656m, and bailed-out insurer AIG placed third, paying $582m.