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Between a plunge in securities issuance and a drop in worldwide merger and acquisition activity, global investment banking fees tumbled by about a third in 2022, according to data from Refinitiv.

The firm reported that estimated investment banking fees came in at US$110.5 billion last year, down by 33% from the previous year — marking their lowest level in three years.

The drop in global revenues came as fees from equity markets cratered, down about 66% year over year to an estimated US$14.2 billion.

At the same time, debt underwriting fees were down 30% from last year, and M&A fees fell 24%, Refinitiv said.

The decline in M&A revenue came as global deal-making declined by 37% from 2021, with the total value of deal activity coming in at US$3.6 trillion.

The volume of deals was down 17% year over year, Refinitiv noted.

Despite the drop in deals, Goldman Sachs continued to dominate the M&A league tables, with a 31.6% market share — up 2.2 percentage points from 2021.

JP Morgan remained a distant second to Goldman, with a 22.5% share, followed closely by Morgan Stanley at 22.1%. It’s another step down from there to Citi and BofA, with market shares of 15.7% and 15.5%, respectively.

In the overall league tables for global investment banking, JP Morgan held onto its top spot, with an estimated US$7.1 billion in fees recorded during the year.

Goldman stayed in second place, followed by BofA, Morgan Stanley and Citi.

According to Refinitiv, the top five banks accounted for 25.4% of total fees, down by 5.2 percentage points from a year ago.

RBC Capital Markets climbed into the top 10 in the global rankings, up from 12th spot last year, as its estimated fees fell a bit less sharply than the average, down 30% year over year.

Fees also held up better than average at BMO Capital Markets, which ranked 22nd overall, with fees down an estimated 22% from 2021.