US investment banks aren’t putting money on a roll-back of regulation according to Barclays analysts.
The firm’s equity research team met with several top executives in New York recently.
Many of them were somewhat cautious on taking hard actions to benefit from any putative steps at deregulation from the new Trump administration.
“In particular, moving back into proprietary trading does not seem to be on the agenda for many firms,” wrote Kiri Vijayarajah, financial analyst at Barclays.
“Some legislative change remains somewhat up in the air (e.g. the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule), making it hard for firms to provide much clarity around the potential impact.”
The executives were generally upbeat about current business trends in capital market exposed businesses.
However, one firm did flag the softness in M&A as well as the declines in global equity trading volumes.
Another concern from investors was how the credit businesses would perform in an environment of higher rates.
For the European executives, Barclays says the drivers of the improved rates activity – namely divergent and changing monetary policy across the globe – suggest the upturn has further to run.
More important than the near-term revenue uplift was the confidence around franchise health that the European firms were keen to communicate.
Less discussion around re-pricing
Compared with meetings in March 2016, Jason Goldberg, senior equity analyst at Barclays, said the team was struck by the limited discussion around re-pricing balance sheet usage, particularly at the trade level.
“This may be because much of it is now done and in the numbers, e.g. in prime and repos.
“It might also be because the focus at the moment is on capturing the volume upturn rather than fighting customers on price,” he added.