Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) got a boost from the surge in M&A activity to breeze past forecasts in its second quarter.

Advisory income jumped by 83% in the three months to June, helping lift earnings for the quarter to US$5.49bn, the second-best quarterly outturn in its history and only beaten by the first three months of 2021.  

Total net revenue surged 16% to US$15.4bn, while diluted earnings of US$15.02 per share were 50% ahead of consensus predictions, both of which were also the second-best numbers in the bank’s history.

Investment banking revenue rose 36% to $3.61bn while asset management revenue more than doubled to $5.1bn. The only weak spot was trading, where revenues dropped by 32% after a bumper comparative period a year ago.

Fixed income, commodities and currencies (FICC) trading fell by 45% while equities dipped 12%.

Pay also soared at the bank with the amount spent on remuneration up by 47% even though the headcount over the period was little changed.

Over the half-year to June, average pay per head rose to US$277,000, up from US$197,000 a year earlier.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), meanwhile, reported a 155% jump in profit as it released previous provisions and also rode the M&A tailwind.

JPM released US$3bn in bad debt as net profits surged to US$11.9bn in its second quarter from US$4.7bn a year ago.

Revenues though dropped to US$31.4bn as, like Goldman, trading volumes fell 28% with bond trading down 44%.

Earnings per share were US$3.78 against forecasts of US$3.21.

“This quarter we once again benefited from a significant reserve release as the environment continues to improve, but as we have said before, we do not consider these core or recurring profits,” said chief executive Jamie Dimon.

Stripping out the bad debt release, profits were US$9.6bn.

Shares in Goldman Sachs fell 1.9% to US$373.14, while JPM fell 2.3% to US$154.46.