Banking institutions are an integral part of the world economy. They have been around for centuries, and will probably be here for a long time. Here we take a look at the top 10 largest banks in the world. The ranking is based on data from S&P Global Intelligence, which publishes a report on global banking and financial services every year, ranking the world’s 100 largest banks based on total assets.
Ranked: Top 10 largest banks
American banks dominated the ranking for decades. But the emergence of China as a global economic powerhouse has helped many Chinese banks earn a place among the largest in the world. Out of the top 10 largest banks, four are from China, two from the US, and two from France.
The S&P Global Market Intelligence’s ranking is based on total reported assets. It’s not adjusted for different accounting practices. The US banks use US GAAP method while banks in most other countries use the IFRS. If American banks reported under the IFRS method, JPMorgan Chase would be the fourth biggest bank instead of sixth.
10- Credit Agricole
The second largest banking behemoth in France has total assets of $2,117 billion. It has been ranked as one of the world’s most sustainable companies. Founded in 1894, Credit Agricole has a history of providing banking and other financial services to farmers. It also happens to be the world’s largest cooperative financial institution.
9- Bank of America
Personal finance guru Ramit Sethi has been a vocal critic of the Bank of America, calling it “one of the worst banks on the planet.” But it is one of the world’s largest banks with total assets of $2,281 billion. With a market value of $325 billion, it’s the world’s third largest bank by market capitalization. The company strengthened its investment banking arm by acquiring Merrill Lynch in 2008.
8- BNP Paribas
The largest bank in France was created in 2000 following the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas. It has $2,357 billion of assets under management. BNP Paris has more than 40 million customers in 75 countries across the globe.
7- HSBC Holdings
Headquartered in London, HSBC is the largest bank in Europe with total assets of $2,521 billion. It was established in 1885 as Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in British Hong Kong. It has offices in more than 80 countries, offering consumer finance, private banking, corporate banking, and investment banking services. HSBC has found itself in the midst of several scandals including money laundering in the last few years.
6- JPMorgan Chase & Co
This is the largest bank in the United States by total assets as well as by market capitalization. The company has $2,533 billion in assets under management and its market value currently stands at $390 billion. It was formed in 2000 following the merger of JPMorgan & Co and Chase Manhattan Bank. It offers retail banking, corporate banking, asset management and private wealth management services.
5- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
The Japanese financial conglomerate has $2,787 billion of assets under management. It offers retail banking, corporate banking, and investment banking services. It was formed in 2005 following the merger of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UFJ Bank. It is also the second largest public company in Japan.
4- Bank of China
The top four largest banks on the planet are all Chinese, which are known as the “Big Four.” The Bank of China has total assets of $2,991 billion. It was established in 1912 as one of the official issuers of bank notes. The bank has a presence in more than 27 countries including Canada. Besides retail banking and corporate banking, the Bank of China is engaged in insurance and wealth management services.
3- Agricultural Bank of China
Also known as AgBank, it has $3,235 billion of assets under management. The Agricultural Bank of China was created in 1951 following the merger of the Cooperation Bank and the Farmers Bank of China. It has more than 330 million customers and 25,000 branches across China. The state-owned giant is one of the world’s top 10 largest banks.
2- China Construction Bank Corp
Headquartered in Beijing, the CCB has a staggering $3,400 billion of assets under management. It offers retail banking, corporate banking, investment banking, private equity, and wealth management services. It also operates in the treasury sector, dealing with debt securities, money markets, and currencies. Until 2013, the Bank of America owned a little over 10% of the China Construction Bank.
1- Industrial & Commercial Bank of China
China’s ICBC is the largest bank on the planet with total assets of $4,009 billion. The state-owned bank offers retail banking, corporate banking, and investment banking services. It was founded in 1984. The ICBC has close to half a million employees across China. It has subsidiaries in Canada, Macau, and Turkey.