Banks' advisory fee slump deepens in crisis-hit Q4

Europe’s debt woes dragged worldwide investment banking income down this year, data showed, with fees on the continent slumping to the lowest quarterly level ever recorded and company listings and acquisitions grinding to a near halt.

The number of bond deals across the world fell in the fourth quarter to levels not seen since after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting data.

In Europe, fees raised since October from bonds, flotations and mergers and acquisitions stand at the lowest quarterly level ever recorded by the data providers.

A stronger start to the year in areas such as mergers and acquisitions fizzled out, leaving investment banks’ overall haul of fees at $72.6 billion — down 8 percent on 2010.

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