International banks continue to grow their assets as the world economy expands. If no major economy falters, the expansion may continue. While there is some debate whether China’s economy is bigger than the United States’, there is no questioning which nation is home to the largest banks. The power in banking is unquestionably shifting eastward to China. Out of the top 10 largest banks by assets, only two are American banks. They rank number six and nine. The leading banks by far are Chinese banks. China holds the top four slots in the top 10.
Japan and France are also represented, and England has the No. 5 bank. In short, only five countries are represented on the list of top 10 banks in the world. This concentration of financial activity does not necessarily represent a concentration of wealth. All of the banks on our top 10 list do international business, so wealth from countries with smaller banks is flowing through the top 10 players. (See also: Top 4 Bank Stocks for 2017.)
We have listed the world’s banks from largest to smallest and indicated the dollar value of their assets. All figures are current as of April 23, 2017.
1. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China
This is the largest bank in the world when measured by assets. It has $3.62 trillion in total assets. The bank’s revenues come in at $134.8 billion. Measured by revenues, this is the fourth largest bank in the world.
Though this is a commercial bank, it is state-owned. The bank provides loans, financing for businesses, credit cards, as well as money management for high-net-worth individuals and companies. The bank also offers money market vehicles, investing opportunities and exchange and transfer services.
A bank spokesman says that President Trump’s insistence that U.S. companies stop manufacturing in Mexico could be an opportunity for the Chinese bank. It plans to invest in Mexico as U.S. firms pull out.
2. China Construction Bank Corp.
This is the second Chinese bank on our top 10 list. It offers corporate banking, which deals with credit, company e-banking, credit lines and commercial loans. The personal banking segment offers personal loans, credit cards, deposits and wealth management for individual investors.
The bank also operates a Treasury sector that deals with money markets, debt securities, and currencies. The China Construction Bank has assets of $2.94 trillion.
On March 29, 2017, the bank announced that its profits have risen by 2.8% during the fourth quarter. The bank expects its profit margins to shrink in 2017, and plans to improve pricing on loans.
3. Agricultural Bank of China
This Beijing bank has branches across China, plus London, Tokyo, New York and Sydney, Australia. Not only is it the third-largest bank on our list, but it is also one of the 10 largest companies in the world. Agricultural Bank of China is state-owned.
The bank deals with small farmers and large agricultural wholesale companies. It also works with non-agricultural companies. Its largest growth segment is mid-sized companies. The bank has assets of $2.82 trillion.
The bank reported a fourth-quarter increase in profits of 1.8%, even though its profit margins have been shrinking. Profits in U.S. dollars was $ $26.7 billion.
4. Bank of China
The Bank of China offers investment banking, insurance and investing services. It also provides personal loans, credit card services, debit cards, mortgages, asset and liability management and insurance. Assets total $2.63 trillion.
In April of 2017, the bank sold bonds denominated in four currencies. The sale took place on one day and resulted in $3 billion in capital for the bank. In its latest profit report, the Bank of China reported a 3.7% drop.
This is a bank based in England. The bank has offices in 80 countries, and has 1,800 locations in the U.K. It provides private banking and consumer finance, along with corporate banking and investment services. HSBC has $2.57 trillion in assets.
This is the first bank on the list that is based in the United States. It is based in New York, but it is a multinational bank.
Though it is ranked sixth-largest in the world, it is the largest bank in the United States. It is involved in investment services, asset management, wealth management and securities. Assets total $2.45 trillion.
As of April 23, 2017, Shepherd Financial Partners has purchased 51,950 shares of JP Morgan stock worth $3,128,000. The analyst consensus for a one-year target price is $91.35 per share. The stock currently trades at $84.52.
7. BNP Paribas
This French bank has assets of $2.4 trillion. It has offices in 75 countries, including the United States. This bank was ranked second among banks in the euro zone in 2016.
The analyst consensus on the stock of BNP Paribas is a “buy.” The bank is merging its research teams and expects to cut some analyst jobs in 2017.
The company announced on April 5, 2017 that it had sold its shares in the Dakota Pipeline. The sale was worth $120 million.
8. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
This is a Japanese bank that offers consumer banking, as well as business and private banking. This is also an investment bank. It offers asset management and real estate banking. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has assets worth $2.459 trillion.
Assets for the bank total $2,901.34 billion. State Street Corp. increased its holdings in this bank by 18.6%. This is the second largest public company in Japan. The stock trades at $6.92 as of this writing, Analysts have placed a target price of $7.48 per share. It pays a dividend of 2.63%.
Bank of America is a U.S. bank that offers services for personal banking, small businesses, mid-sized businesses, and large corporations. It offers investment services in addition to its deposit and checking accounts. The bank has nearly 5,000 retail outlets, with assets topping $2.15 trillion.
The stock currently trades at $22.71 and has a one-year target price of $ 25.63. It pays a dividend of 1.32%. The bank’s revenues have dropped slightly over the past three years. On April 18, 2017, the bank reported a 46% rise in earnings per share.
Bank of America has begun pursuing small businesses and is making more loan money available to them. Its small business program includes putting staff in We Work offices where small businesses operate.
10. Credit Agricole Group
This is the second French bank on the list. It has assets of $1.91 trillion. This bank has a history of working with farmers. It is part of a network of 39 French banks.
The bank raised its holding in the DEO group by 87.6% as of April 20, 2017. It also invested in Coca-Cola (KO), Exxon Mobile (XOM), and Abercrombie and Fitch.
In February of 2017, the company reported it had a 67% drop in its fourth-quarter profits due to mortgage refinancing by its customers. However, revenues rose by 7%. Forbes ranks the company as one of the world’s top 20 most sustainable companies.
The Bottom Line
International banking has created some of the largest businesses in existence. As the world economy moves forward, these banks will be significant players on the world stage.