Equities disappoints in first quarter at top investment banks

The top 12 investment banks struggled with equities trading in the first quarter but bounced back in FICC trading.

Equities trading at the top global investment banks have underperformed during the first quarter this year, according to new statistics.

Data from Coalition’s latest index revealed investment banking revenues from equities declined 8% during the first three months of this year, compared with the same period last year.

The index tracks the performance of the top 12 investment banks, including Barclays, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

The decline across equities trading is thought to be due to low volatility, heightened competition and the ongoing increase in treasury liquidity charge.

Fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) sales were up 19% due to improved trading conditions for credit-linked products and tighter credit spreads.

Overall, the performance across the top investment banks improved on the first quarter last year with revenues up 14% across trading businesses.

Coalition commented: “[The first quarter of 2017] brought a strong start to the year, driven by a significant improvement in FICC and IBD revenues that offset a weaker performance in Equities.”

Despite this, the index showed revenues were still below those during the first quarters between 2012 and 2015.

Headcount across investment banks also declined 3% at the beginning of this year, as cuts continue to sweep across equities and FICC teams.