The World’s 15 Largest Banks

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Of the world’s 15 largest banks, the top four are based in China. These four giants topped the list in 2016 and in 2017, so it’s no surprise at all that there has been no change at the top.

The top four banks — Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China — have combined assets totaling $13.637 trillion, up by $1.727 trillion (12.7%) from the 2017 total.

The data were published on Tuesday by S&P Global Market Intelligence and are based on assets as of December 2017, adjusted for pending mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other deals that closed through March 2018 “on a best-efforts basis.”

In this year’s report, S&P Global Intelligence ranked the world’s 100 largest banks. Of that total, 18 were based in China and posted a combined total of $23.761 trillion. The United States placed 11 banks in the top 100, holding assets totaling $12.196 trillion.

J.P. O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Financial Institutions at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:

As bank profitability improves in terms of return on average equity, we expect banks to move away from cost-cutting and towards sustainable growth. In this low rate environment, growing the balance sheet can be an effective way to generate earnings. Moreover, as interest rates rise, we can expect a boost to bottom line earnings and this bodes well for future growth prospects within the banking sector.

Four U.S. banks finished the year among the top 15, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) at number six with $2.534 trillion in assets, about $250 billion behind fourth-place Mitsubishi UFJ of Japan. The only other U.S. bank in the top 10 was Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) at number nine with assets of $2.281 trillion. Both maintained their 2017 rankings.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) dropped out of the top 10 to end the year in 11th place, and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) ranked 13th, as it did in 2016.

Here are the top 15 and their total assets converted to dollars as of the exchange rate at the end of December.

  1. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China: $4.009 trillion
  2. China Construction Bank: $3.400 trillion
  3. Agricultural Bank of China: $3.236 trillion
  4. Bank of China: $2.992 trillion
  5. Mitsubishi UFJ: $2.788 trillion
  6. JPMorgan Chase: $2.534 trillion
  7. HSBC Holdings: $2.522 trillion
  8. BNP Paribas: $2.357 trillion
  9. Bank of America: $2.281 trillion
  10. Crédit Agricole: $2.117 trillion
  11. Wells Fargo: $1.952 trillion
  12. Japan Post Bank: $1.874 trillion
  13. Citigroup: $1.842 trillion
  14. Sumitomo Mitsui: $1.775 trillion
  15. Deutsche Bank: $1.766 trillion

For the full list of the world’s 100 largest banks, visit the S&P Global Intelligence website.

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