Bank of America reports highest H1 sales and trading revenue in over a decade, despite 2% fall in equities

The bank’s overall revenue was up 11% from this time last year, with zero trading loss days reported for the second quarter of 2023.

Bank of America has reported a strong second quarter and first half of the year overall, despite its global wealth and investment management total revenue decreasing 4% to $5.2 billion due to lower average equity and fixed income market levels.

The bank also highlighted that lower than average transactional volumes had contributed to lower asset management and brokerage fees.

Overall, the bank’s total revenue was up 11% from Q2 2022 at $25.2 billion, driven in part by higher interest rates complimented by organic client growth and activity across its businesses, it said.

In its global markets business, revenues were up by 9% for the second quarter at $1.1 billion. Sales and trading revenues increased by 3% to $4.3 billion, with fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) up 7% to $2.7 billion. According to the bank, this was driven by “strong trading performances in currencies, emerging markets interest rates, and secured financing as well as improved trading in credit and mortgage products, partially offset by weakness in commodities.” 

Brian Moynihan, chair and chief executive of Bank of America confirmed that this was one of the strongest quarters and first half net income periods in the company’s history.

“All businesses performed well, and we saw improved market shares, particularly in our sales and trading and investment banking businesses. A strong balance sheet and ample liquidity allowed us to continue investments in our franchise to drive long-term value for stakeholders,” he said.

However, the company’s equities revenue was not a fruitful, falling by 2% to $1.6 billion due to generally weaker trading performance in derivatives, despite being partially offset by increases in client financing activities.

Elsewhere, the bank reported zero trading loss days reported for the second quarter of 2023. 

Looking forward, Alastair Borthwick, chief financial officer, confirmed that the bank’s focus is on growing the business, enhancing client relationships, and driving operating leverage.

He added: “Asset quality and the overall health of the U.S. consumer remained strong. Total loss rates remained below pre-pandemic levels […] these results demonstrate the steadfast value of our responsible growth strategy.”

In May of this year, Bank of America led a Series D funding round – with significant participation from Pivot Investment Partners and ING Ventures – for a $35 million investment to to help accelerate the adoption of OpenFin OS across the financial industry.