Third-quarter earnings at the big US banks are over. Now that the dust has (ever-so slightly) settled, how did the big-five US investment banks stack up against each other?
Opimas, a capital markets consulting firm, has released a scorecard showing how much individual investment banking business lines – strategic advisory, equity and debt underwriting, and equity and FICC sales and trading – grew year-over-year at Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Bear in mind that while top-line growth is an important indicator, it’s far from the only performance metric that matters – profits, efficiency, business mix, and overall revenue size are important to keep in mind as well.
For dealmaking, the clear winner is Citi – the only bank to show positive revenue growth, with a 9% increase compared with 2017. Bank of America had the worst quarter, falling 26%.
It’s the opposite story in equity underwriting, where everybody else is up big – Goldman Sachs is leading the way with 104% growth – and Citi is down 17%.
In debt underwriting, Morgan Stanley grew revenues 15% while everybody else lost ground, especially Bank of America, which saw revenue decline 26%.
On the sales and trading side of the business, Citi crushed it in FICC with 9% growth, besting bond-trading powerhouse JPMorgan, which saw revenues fall 10%, by $400 million.
But in equities, JPMorgan stole the show. It led the way with 17% growth – they gained across products, but especially in cash and prime finance – followed by Goldman Sachs, which grew 8%. Everybody else saw just 1% growth.