Fixed income holding up

DURING the financial crisis, Deutsche Bank’s reputation for being solid but uninspiring became an asset, enabling it to emerge from the abyss relatively unscathed. Now it seems to be shaking off the “boring” mantle, becoming the only bank so far to increase revenues from fixed income sales and trading in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.

It wasn’t just UBS, which reported a staggering 49 per cent fall in its third quarter FICC unit earlier this week. Morgan Stanley was off 58 per cent; Credit Suisse declined 41 per cent; JP Morgan was down 38 per cent; Goldman?Sachs dipped 37 per cent; Citigroup was off 13 per cent; and Bank of America Merrill Lynch saw FICC?revenues down 12 per cent.

Deutsche isn’t broadcasting its secret, but it too experienced “a seasonal slowdown in client activity in July and August [that] was exacerbated by ongoing sovereign risk concerns”. The difference, it seems, is the German bank was ready to make hay when September’s upturn came. Its rivals clearly weren’t.