Investment banks' trading revenue declined 9 percent in 2015: survey

Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:15pm EST
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By Anjuli Davies

LONDON (Reuters) - Revenue at the world's 12 largest investment banks from trading fixed income, currencies and commodities, known as FICC, fell 9 percent in 2015 compared with a year before, a survey showed on Monday, dragged down by regulatory changes and retrenchment.

Eight years after the global financial crash, banks are still struggling to adjust to reforms compelling them to hold more capital and liquidity, while litigation costs and market volatility have forced them to restructure, shed staff and exit some business lines.

Such trends have reduced the FICC activities which had been their most profitable business.

FICC trading revenue at 12 of the world's biggest banks was $69.9 billion last year, down from $109.1 billion five years before, according to the survey by industry analytics firm Coalition, based on its analysis of their public disclosures and independent research.

Coalition tracks Bank of America Merrill Lynch <BAC,N>, Barclays (BARC.L: Quote), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: Quote), Citigroup (C.N: Quote), Credit Suisse CSGN.VX, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote), Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote), HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote), JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote), Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote) and UBS UBSG.VX.

Poor trading results and low client activity in the second half of 2015 contributed to an overall 3 percent decline compared to a year ago in investment banking revenue across the world's major banks, to $160.2 billion, the data showed.

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The Canary Wharf financial district is seen at dusk in east London November 7, 2014.  REUTERS/Toby Melville