European investment banking fees at lowest since 2003

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That was the year that then-US President George W Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq, Malta voted to join the European Union, and UK football club Arsenal was on its way to completing an entire Premier League season unbeaten.

Preliminary year-end figures for capital markets and M&A revenues show investment banks have earned $ 15.6 billion in Europe. This represents at 17% fall on 2015’s total and means 2016 will likely end as the least lucrative for 13 years, according to Dealogic.

The reason for the slump: a 42% drop in revenues earned in the equity capital markets and the fewest fees from syndicated lending for seven years. The data provider attributed the former to political uncertainty in the UK, US and Europe, noting that the year-on-year fall in revenues from UK initial public offerings, at 62%, was particularly pronounced.

Fees earned from debt capital markets and M&A advisory work in the region suffered far less severe falls of 3% each, according to Dealogic.

JP Morgan will retain its crown as the region’s top fee earner with revenues of around $ 1.1 billion and a similar market share (7.1%) to a year ago. It leads US rival Goldman Sachs ($ 945 million) in second and Germany’s Deutsche Bank ($ 795 million) in third. FN reported earlier this month that the German bank was in danger of losing a top-three spot in the wider rankings for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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