TOP 50 GLOBAL BANKS
THE BIG GET EVEN BIGGER
At the end of 2014, the first, second and fourth-largest banks in the world, ranked by assets, were Chinese. HSBC was the third-placed bank.
The 10 Chinese banks included in last year’s list of the world’s Biggest Global Banks have all moved up the rankings (with the exception of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which was first last year and retains that position this year). Industrial and Commercial Bank of China remains the only bank in the world with more than
$3 trillion in assets at the end of 2014. China Minsheng Bank enters the top-50 ranking for the first time this year, taking the total number of Chinese banks in the top 50 to 11.
Despite the increasing importance of Chinese banks, European banks still make up the largest geographic group within the 50 Biggest Global Banks. Twenty-one European banks from eight different countries feature in the 2015 list, two fewer than in 2014: KfW and Danske Bank dropped off the list this year.
The profile of the 21 European banks that feature among the world’s 50 largest is very different from the profile of those European banks that feature among the world’s 50 safest. European banks hold the first nine places in the ranking of the World’s Safest Banks, but none of these now features among the world’s biggest. (Last year, KfW was placed in both rankings.) Four Nordic banks feature among the World’s Safest this year, but only one, Nordea, makes the Biggest Global Banks.
The United States contributes seven banks to the biggest 50 ranking this year, one more than last year, as a result of the inclusion of Prudential Financial. Japan and Australia contribute four each and Canada three—in all cases, the same number and the same banks as last year.
The combined total assets of the biggest 50 banks in the world was $68,994 billion at the end of 2014, marginally higher than the $68,488 recorded a year earlier. The increase in the size of Chinese banks was offset by declining asset sizes at many eurozone banks (the euro lost 10% of its value against the dollar during 2014) and Japanese banks (for whom a similar devaluation took place).
In this year’s rankings the 50th-placed bank, China Minsheng Bank, had assets of $656 billion. In 2014’s rankings, the 50th-biggest bank, Danske Bank, had assets of $596 billion.
BIGGEST GLOBAL BANKS 2015