Fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) revenues in the first quarter this year have plummeted 49% since 2011, amid the slowest start to the year since the financial crisis, according to research.
Compared to the first quarter in 2015, FICC revenues were down 28%, “driven by a weak trading environment in the first two months of the [first] quarter”, according to data compiled by business intelligence firm, Coalition.
Headcount in FICC has steadily fallen as a result, having declined 32% since 2011 and 5% in the first quarter this year, compared to the same period last year.
Coalition explained productivity was also affected by the decline in FICC business revenues, “as revenue reductions outweighed the impact of headcount reductions.”
Investment banking divisions across equities and FICC have all suffered declines year-on-year.
Equities saw a 20% drop in revenues and investment banking revenues fell 25% in the first quarter this year compared to the same period in 2015.
The equities market was affected by a reduction in investment appetite amid global economic uncertainty in the first two months of this year, and “structured products were impacted most, driven by significantly lower client activity in Asia.”
Coalition’s index tracks the performance of the 12 largest investment banks globally, including Barclays, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UBS.