JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is the best investment bank in the country, according to a first-quarter report on banking performance conducted by analytics firm Coalition. JPMorgan’s investment banking operations brought in revenue of $6.9 billion, putting it at the top of a fiercely competitive list that had four other rivals tied for second place.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) all tied for the second spot, with Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) following right behind. Overall, investment bank revenues at the top five firms were down 7 percent on the year, but up 35 percent on the quarter.
The financial sector is in an interesting position right now. On the positive side, home prices have been increasing, loan defaults have been decreasing, the stock market has consistently moved up, interest rates are finally moving higher, monetary stimulus is at a global level, and cost-cutting has led to increased profitability.
Part of JPMorgan’s cost-cutting plan has been to reduce its workforce by 17,000, with the most recent round of layoffs hitting the firm’s mortgage services unit. A person familiar with the matter told CNBC that as credit conditions improve and fewer loans are delinquent, the bank no longer needs as many employees in call centers and other service-related positions. (Read our latest JPMorgan stock Cheat Sheet.)