The developed countries with the highest concentration in the banking sector, as of 2015, are the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Japan.

Because the banking industry provides the financing that fuels economic growth, it's one of the most important industries in any developing or developed nation. Also, the financial soundness of the world's major banks is critical to the overall soundness and stability of the world economy. Significant problems with any of the major banks listed below could cause a ripple, or domino effect that might threaten both the economy of the nation the bank is headquartered in and the entire economy worldwide.

The "big four" of the U.S. -- J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Bank of America -- all have widespread international presence, not only in other developed countries, but also in nearly all of the major emerging market economies. In a number of emerging market countries, such as China and Brazil, where these banks do not have a direct presence, they have partnered with major banks native to the country. Most of the largest banks in the world are located outside the U.S., but J.P. Morgan Chase is still ranked as one of the 10 largest banks worldwide as of 2015. Even though larger banks exist in other nations, the major U.S. banks wield perhaps the greatest influence in the worldwide financial services sector.

The U.K. has ceded the rank of first importance in the banking industry to the U.S. over the last century, but London remains recognized as one of the world's pre-eminent financial centers, and major U.K. banks continue to be considered critical to world economic stability. Nearly 10% of all employment in the U.K. is provided by the financial services industry. The largest and most important banks in the U.K, as of 2015, are Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC. The banking industry has spread out from its London center, and there are major financial centers in Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow.

Switzerland's two largest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, are among the 25 largest worldwide in 2015. Switzerland's longstanding reputation for bank secrecy, although having suffered some setbacks, still makes it a preferred banking haven for many high-net-worth individuals who like keeping their financial affairs private. It's estimated that approximately one-third of all funds that are on deposit outside their home country are on deposit in Switzerland. As of 2010, the financial sector accounted for more than 10% of Switzerland's GDP and more than 5% of the nation's employment. Switzerland also has the distinction of being the home of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).

Tokyo is the major financial center in Asia, and Japan is home to the major Asian banks. Japan Post Bank and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ are among the 10 largest banks in the world as of 2015. Like the U.S., Japan has a strong set of regional banks, including the Bank of Yokohama and Suruga Bank. Japan's private banking industry is supplemented by the existence of government financial institutions, such as the Japan Import-Export Bank.

China is the major emerging market banking center, already having four of the five largest banks in the world as of 2015.

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