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Amid a notable decline in securities issuance in the first quarter, global investment banking fees dropped by about a third, Refinitiv reports.

Total investment banking fees came in at US$28.1 billion in the first quarter, Refinitiv said, noting that this marked a 31% decline compared with the first quarter last year, and a 34% drop from the record fourth quarter of 2021.

Equity capital markets led the decline, with global fees plunging 73% in the first quarter, as underwriting activity retreated.

Debt underwriting fees were also down 19% from last year, whereas M&A advisory fees rose by 8% to US$9.8 billion. This represented the strongest first quarter on record for global M&A, Refinitiv said.

JP Morgan continued to lead the global league tables, followed by Goldman Sachs and BofA Securities. Morgan Stanley and Citi rounded out the top five, Refinitiv said.

RBC Capital Markets was the top ranked Canadian firm, slipping down to 12th place from 10th spot last year.

BMO Capital Markets was the only other Canadian shop in the top 25. It ranked 23rd, down from 21st place in 2021.