February 4, 2020

Largest Banks in the World

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The world's ten largest banks are headquartered across Asia, Europe, and America. Which is the biggest bank in the world? And how do U.S. banks compare. Find the answers below.

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There are several ways to measure a bank's size. However, financial analysts most often use two categories: number of assets and a metric called "Tier 1 capital" to compare.

In the list below, we've also noted "Return on Assets," which refers to how well the bank generates profit from the assets it owns. This figure is calculated by dividing a bank's net operating profit after tax by its assets. The higher the percentage, the better return the bank generates.

Top 10 World's Largest Banks by Assets

1Industrial & Commercial Bank of China$4.03 trillionChina
2China Construction Bank Corp.$3.38 trillionChina
3Agricultural Bank of China$3.29 trillionChina
4Bank of China$3.09 trillionChina
5Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group$2.81 trillionJapan
6JPMorgan Chase & Co.$2.62 trillionUnited States
7HSBC Holdings$2.56 trillionUnited Kingdom
8Bank of America$2.35 trillionUnited States
9BNP Paribas SA$2.34 trillionFrance
10Crédit Agricole Group$2.12 trillionFrance

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence Report

  1. ICBC
    Headquartered in Beijing, the state-owned Industrial & Commercial Bank of China was founded in 1984. It provides banking services to China and more than 40 other countries across six continents.

    The bank — ranked by Forbes as the world's largest public company — services commercial and individual clients.

    Assets: $4.03 trillion
    Return on Assets: 1.08%

  2. China Construction Bank Corp.
    Based in Beijing, China Construction Bank Corp provides corporate, commercial, and personal banking services. It is one of the "Big Four" Chinese state-owned state banks that operates in 29 countries and regions.

    As of 2019, China Construction Bank was the world's third-largest public company.

    Assets: $3.38 trillion
    Return on Assets: 1.1%

  3. Agricultural Bank of China
    Ranked as the fourth-largest company in the world, the Beijing-based Agricultural Bank of China is the third member of China's state-owned "Big Four" banks.

    With over 300 million retail customers, the bank services a range of international locations from Sydney to Seoul.

    Assets: $3.29 trillion
    Return on Assets: 0.9%

  4. Bank of China
    Bank of China, located in Beijing, is the oldest and most international of the Chinese "Big Four" banks.

    It offers insurance, pension, investment banking, and other services to personal, commercial, and corporate clients across six continents. According to Forbes, it is the eighth-largest public company in the world.

    Assets: $3.09
    Return on Assets: 0.9%

  5. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
    Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ serves over 50 countries and regions around the world. As a retail, commercial, and corporate bank, Mitsubishi UFJ offers a wide range of products and services that include asset management and personal banking.

    Assets: $2.81 trillion
    Return on Assets: 0.31%

  6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
    JP Morgan Chase, the first American bank on this list, has clients ranging from individuals to giant corporations in over 100 markets. A leader in investment and commercial banking, this New York City-based bank trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index.

    Assets: $2.62 trillion
    Return on Assets: 1.24%

  7. HSBC Holdings
    Based in London, UK, HSBC serves over 40 million customers across 65 countries through its four business pillars: retail banking and wealth management, commercial banking, global banking and markets, and global private banking.

    Employing over 230,000 people, HSBC trades on the New York, Bermuda, Hong Kong, London, and Paris stock exchanges.

    Assets: $2.56 trillion
    Return on Assets: 0.78%

  8. Bank of America
    As the world's eighth largest bank — and second-largest American bank — Bank of America keeps its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. It serves consumer and small business clients in addition to the wealth management, corporate and investment banking, and trading services it provides to corporations and governments.

    With about 66 million clients in over 35 countries, Bank of America was ranked the fifth-largest company in the world by Forbes.

    Assets: $2.35 trillion
    Return on Assets: 1.2%

  9. BNP Paribas SA
    BNP Paribas is one of the leading banks in Europe. It has locations in over 72 countries, providing traditional lending and consumer banking as well as investment banking and savings and protection insurance.

    Through its subsidiary Bank of the West, BNP Paribas reaches over 2 million U.S. households.

    Assets: $2.34 trillion
    Return on Assets: 0.39%

  10. Crédit Agricole Group S.A.
    The French bank Crédit Agricole has 51 million customers across 47 different countries. A real estate investor, lender, and asset manager, Crédit Agricole serves multinational corporates as well as individuals through 11,000 branches worldwide.

    Assets: $2.12 trillion
    Return on Assets: 0.4%

Top 10 World's Largest Banks by Tier 1 Capital

Tier 1 capital refers to the core capital funds a bank uses to operate on a daily basis. It's mostly made up of shareholder's equity and retained earnings.

Under the Basal Accord — an international piece of bank regulation — banks must keep their tier 1 and tier 2 capital totals higher than 10.5% of their risk-weighted assets.

Here are the world's 10 largest banks ranked by tier 1 capital:

RankBank NameCountry$bn Tier 1 Capital
1ICBCChina$337.54
2China Construction BankChina$287.46
3Agricultural Bank of ChinaChina$242.90
4Bank of ChinaChina$229.97
5JP Morgan Chase & CoUS$209.09
6Bank of AmericaUS$189.04
7Wells Fargo & CoUS$167.87
8CitigroupUS$158.12
9HSBC HoldingsUK$147.14
10Mitsubishi UFJ Financial GroupJapan$146.74

Ten Largest Banks in the U.S.

RankBank NameTotal Assets
1JPMorgan Chase & Co.$2.74 trillion
2Bank of America Corp.$2.38 trillion
3Citigroup Inc.$1.96 trillion
4Wells Fargo & Co.$1.89 trillion
5Goldman Sachs Group Inc.$925.35 billion
6Morgan Stanley$875.96 billion
7U.S. Bancorp$475.78 billion
8PNC Financial Services Group Inc.$392.84 billion
9TD Group US Holdings LLC$384.07 billion
10Capital One Financial Corp.$373.19 billion

Source: S&P Market Global Intelligence Report

Bottom Line

China dominates the world's largest banks list, holding the top four spots in both assets and tier 1 capital rankings. In the U.S., JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are the two largest.

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