The 10 Largest Banks in the World

In the world of banking, does bigger mean better? Read our thoughts on this below along with a list of the ten largest banks in the world.

largest banks in the world

Below are the world’s ten largest banks, determined by the amount of assets and a description of each. (This data is based on the S&P Global Market Intelligence Report of 2017)

10 Largest Banks in the World

1. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Established in 1984, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has quickly grown to become the largest bank in the world based on assets. Its current asset tally is a whopping 3.47 trillion. ICBC focuses most of their efforts in industry (the name kind of gives it away). They offer the majority of their loans in manufacturing, transportation, power and retail. This bank shows no signs of slowing down either. It reported a 3.3% rise in profit for the 3rd quarter of 2017.

  • Headquartered in Beijing, China
  • Employs 460,000

2. China Construction Bank Corporation

The second largest bank in China also happens to be the second largest in the world. The China Construction Bank Corporation currently holds $3.02 trillion in assets. One of the older banks in China, CCB was founded in 1954. In 2005, Bank of America wanted to expand its business into China. So it purchased a 9% stake in CCB.  That didn’t work out so well however. And BOA needed to sell most of its stake in 2009 during the US financial crisis. In 2013, Bank of America sold its remaining position in CCB and has focused its Asian operations in Hong Kong.

  • Headquartered in Beijing, China
  • Employs 330,000

3. Agricultural Bank of China

If you’re sensing a trend here, you’re not alone. Yet another Chinese bank, the Agricultural Bank of China ranks third largest in the world with $2.82 trillion in assets. Known as Ag Bank and founded in 1951, the Agricultural Bank of China has branch locations in Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, London, New York and many other of the world’s largest cities. Fun fact: In 2007, Ag Bank was victim of the largest Chinese bank robbery ever. Thieves stole $7.5 million.

  • Headquartered in Beijing, China
  • Employs 444,000

4. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (Mitsubishi)

With $2.63 trillion in assets, Mitsubishi is Japan’s largest bank holding/financial services group. Part of the Mitsubishi Corporation, the company provides a wide variety of financial and investment services including commercial banking, trust banking, international finance, and assets management services.  With all of the accolades MUFG has garnered, it’s surprising to learn they were only founded in 2005.

  • Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan
  • Employs 106,000

5. Bank of China

Yet another Asian bank rounds out the top five. Bank of China controls $2.61 trillion in assets and was founded in 1912. While this bank is no longer 100% government owned, the largest shareholder of the Bank of China is still the investment arm of the People’s Republic of China. The Bank of China is the second largest lender in the country. It currently has two locations in the state of New York.

  • Headquartered in Beijing China
  • Employs 310,000

6. J.P. Morgan Chase

One of the two so-called “too big to fail” banks, along with Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase is the sixth largest bank in the world with $2.50 trillion in assets. The company provides products and services to its clients in 100 countries, It offers asset management, investment banking, private banking, treasury and securities services, and commercial banking. J.P. Morgan Chase is traded on the NYSE under ticker symbol JPM. Of all the banks on our list, Chase is the second newest, having only been founded in 2000.

  • Headquartered in New York City, New York
  • Employs 245,000

7. HSBC Holdings PLC

HSBC Bank has more than 460 bank branches throughout the United States, with the majority (380) in New York State. This one comes in at number seven on our list of the biggest banks with $2.37 trillion in assets. HSBC offers its 4 million customers access to global markets through its personal financial services, private banking, retail banking, commercial banking, and global banking and market segments. HSBC was initially founded in British Hong Kong in 1865.

  • Headquartered in London, UK
  • Employs 235,000

8. BNP Paribas

This French bank comes in at number eight with $2.19 trillion in assets. BNP is one of the largest global banking networks in the world with operations in 75 countries. BNP has four domestic retail banking markets located in France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. In April 2009, as a result of BNP’s 75% purchase of Fortis Bank, the Belgian bank is now the largest Eurozone deposit holder. BNP Paribas was founded all the way back in 1848. Its core profitability comes from retail banking. More than three quarters of its revenue comes from everyday client accounts.

  • Headquartered in Paris, France
  • Employs 190,000

9. Bank of America (BAC)

BAC is the largest bank holding company in the United States, by assets, with $2.19 trillion. The company serves clients all over the world and has a relationship with 99% of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies. In 2008, BAC acquired Merrill Lynch, making it the world’s largest wealth manager. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and is part of the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

  • Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Employs 208,000

10. Wells Fargo

Sneaking into the top 10, Wells Fargo has labored through the last few years with a few scandals they’d like to forget. Still, the bank currently holds $1.93 trillion in assets and is one of the United States’ largest retail banks. Founded all the way back in 1852, Wells Fargo has close to 9,000 retail locations scattered across the United States. They became my bank of record when in 2009, when they purchased Wachovia. All of a sudden, my login was changed, and I remember seeing a lot of wagons!

  • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Employs 270,000

So there are 10 largest banks in the world. But of course, bigger is not always better. So if you are looking for banks with the best interest rates, check out these options:

Topics: Banking
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42 Responses to “The 10 Largest Banks in the World”

  1. Shreyas

    Hello,
    Can anyone recommend a good bank in INDIA for current account.
    I often receive wires from different different countries. I already have account in HDFC bank, but as they don’t have many branches around the globe, money/ wire amount comes with deductions.

    Per transaction they deducts around 3- 5K which is insane.

    Please help!

    Thanks

  2. I’M SURE THAT IN THE NEAREST FUTURE ARAB BANKS WILL FIND THEIR PLACES BETWEEN THESE HUGE BANKS AFTER COLLECTING AND ASSEMBLING ARABIC NATIONS WEALTH’S FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD …………….
    THIS IS ONE OF OUR IMPORTANT REVOLUTION OBJECTIVES TO ACHIEVE , SURELY THE HELP AND COOPERATION OF THESE BANKS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO INDICATE US FOR STOLEN OR HIDDEN WEALTH DEPOSIT BY OUR TERRORISTS LEADERS , PRESIDENTS OR KINGS ……………..

  3. THE WORKING OF WORLD BUSINESS VAMPIYRE SIR OBAMA HAS NOW DONE INFLATION IN AMERICA.INDIA IS NOT ONLY RICH OBAMA BUT AMERICA ALSO,ROBIN WILLIAM SPEARS,MAUREEN SPEARS,JUDY BROWN SPEARS,JAM MAHON SPEARS,MANGTA SPEARS,SYLVESTER STALLONE SPEARS AND ANDREW GATES MANY MY BABIES BECAUSE OF ANDREW GATES DOESNOT HAVE WEBSITES.C/O RAM YASH SINGH,MANJULA MANI,T/111/34,NML COLONY,GOLMURI,JAMSHEDPUR-831003.BIHAR.INDIA.

  4. Look at this crap. All these banks are too big to fail. Talk about a cartel of banks and no free market. These banks need to be broken down for fair competition. You can’t have only a handful of banks control most of the world’s assets. Thats how US got into this mess.These banks would never be this big without government backing. Need to end this fascist banking cartel.

  5. I never understood HSBC… It’s acronym is of HongKong Shanghai Banking Corporation…yet It’s headquarters are in London and is also listed on the FTSE100, is this a British bank then???

    • torren

      It’s history is quite complex, it was founded in London as HSBC holdings just 20 years ago, however the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp is over a 100 years old and was of course based in China. It became HSBC Holdings plc to allow it to buy the UK based Midland Bank (one of our biggest banks in the 20th century) helping it to grow to become the international banking corporation it is today.

      HSBC is the largest bank in Hong Kong and has branches across China and Asia.

  6. Bhargav

    Its interesting that WORLD’s BIGGEST BANK is in china ICBC bank’s announced that bank’s total assets have reached 12.5 trillion as of the end of March, 2010.
    ICBC bank = BNP Paribas+RBS+Barclays PLC+Deutsche that is not all it will still be left with 1.33 Trillion $$$$$$$$$$$$.

  7. Steven Montes

    Re: Read Carefully
    From:
    Nick Treble
    “Nick Treble”@omr11.networksolutionsemail.com
    To:

    Bcc: [email protected]
    Date:
    Wed, Feb 3, 2010 5:23 am
    Dear Partner,

    I hope this mail meets you in good time. However strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not meet personally or had any dealings in the past, I humbly ask that you take due consideration of
    its importance and immense benefit. Presently, we are conducting a standard process investigation on behalf of “AIB Group the International Banking conglomerate. This investigation involves a client and the
    circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at “AIB Group”, the Private Banking arm of
    Allied Irish Bank. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail private and respect
    the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.

    I contacted you independently of my private investigation and no one is informed of this communication.
    You share similar surname with the deceased customer, as such I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct my bank to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. That is, I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you as the beneficiary.

    I would have gone ahead and transfer the funds secretly to my private offshore account, but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit. On the other hand, you as a
    foreigner stand a better chance to easily surpass, as the beneficiary to the fund.

    This transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. If you are ready to work with me, I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within the next few days. Upon receipt of the deposit, we shall share the proceeds in halves. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. If we can be of one accord base on mutual consent, I shall initiate this process towards a swift conclusion.

    Thank you,

    Nick Treble
    Chief Risk Officer
    AIB GROUP

  8. Steven Montes

    Re: Read Carefully
    From:
    Nick Treble
    “Nick Treble”@omr11.networksolutionsemail.com
    To:

    Bcc: [email protected]
    Date:
    Wed, Feb 3, 2010 5:23 am
    Dear Partner,

    I hope this mail meets you in good time. However strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not meet personally or had any dealings in the past, I humbly ask that you take due consideration of
    its importance and immense benefit. Presently, we are conducting a standard process investigation on behalf of “AIB Group the International Banking conglomerate. This investigation involves a client and the
    circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at “AIB Group”, the Private Banking arm of
    Allied Irish Bank. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail private and respect
    the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.

    I contacted you independently of my private investigation and no one is informed of this communication.
    You share similar surname with the deceased customer, as such I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct my bank to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. That is, I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you as the beneficiary.

    I would have gone ahead and transfer the funds secretly to my private offshore account, but that would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit. On the other hand, you as a
    foreigner stand a better chance to easily surpass, as the beneficiary to the fund.

    This transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. If you are ready to work with me, I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within the next few days. Upon receipt of the deposit, we shall share the proceeds in halves. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. If we can be of one accord
    base on mutual consent, I shall initiate this process towards a swift conclusion.

    Thank you,

    Nick Treble
    Chief Risk Officer
    AIB GROUP

    • FPBSTFMBR

      I don’t actually expect a Risk Officer to send such a mediocre letter riddled with poor grammar. This article concerns banks and not some nonsensical pseudo-secretive “mail” .

  9. One other reason why non US banks are dominating the list is because the US has so many banks that are smaller. All of these other countries only have a few banks which makes their assets much greater. If Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Wachovia/WellsFargo had 90% market share in the US they would be the largest 4 banks on earth. Not to mention that the European Banks and other foreign banks have such a large US presence also whereas US banks presence in other countries aren’t as saturated as they are here. Regarding Bank of China with 7 trillion in assets. Its not really a bank its a communist govt. banks under total govt. control.

  10. michelle calimlim manlincon

    the “HEART of the CENTER” in the “MANAGEMENT” is “HONEST AND PRAY”, credit written by michelle calimlim manlincon

    why we encountered the global economy crisis….and the banks were affected
    1. population growth vs. new technology, but we need to have the balance continue the innovation to all of us, especially in the PRODUCTION MAN’S NEED.
    2. calamity (tragedy)
    3. robbery
    4. corruption
    5. credit cards – who does not pay

    data entry operator/specialist currently holds the position

    Location
    Philippines
    Industry
    Outsourcing/Offshoring

  11. The answer to that question has everything to do with Hallmark’s branding and two key elements of that branding are:

    * a logo design that’s attractive, easy to read and memorable;
    * a great tag line.

    Assuming your own product is fabulous, it all comes down to image. Graphic design can play a huge part in that image. But what are some key things to consider?

    • torren

      They also loan us money, invest in business, give us credit and overdrafts so we can spend their money. Look after our finances, help it to grow, while giving us interest and they give us morgages so we can improve our living standards.

      Sure they are evil but they are fundemental to our society.

      • robert

        actually the banks should be alowed to fail and governments should then cover savings only! sell off assets to claw back the money put in to cover the savings then leave say a couple of million businesses, mortgagees ect.. debt free and able to spend more cash in real terms in the remaining businesses! only losers then are the bankers themselves!

  12. No wonder Banks are in trouble… Just look at the assets!
    The race of banks and other financial institutions to build up balance sheets and short term profits, a miscalculation of the risks involved and the arguably loose financial oversight framework meant that Banks were at the highest risk of collapsing first. The recent financial crisis was the epitome of several factors and choices that led the whole financial sector and the world economy beyond a point of no return….
    Globalization and the established economic links made worldwide contagion inevitable. After the bust, the challenge in global financial markets and especially banks is deleveraging as well as renewed scrutiny by regulatory authorities of several market practices. U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has recently established (2010) new rules to protect financial transactions, banks and trading. The new rules demand larger capital requirements lower leverage. Japan already introduced similar rules this past August. The new financial legislation acknowledges that extreme leverage levels are uniquely speculative and can pose significant risks to all kind of investors. Like the wise man said “Greed is nor Good nor smart…the industry itself should rethink offered leverage levels rather than wait for regulation to impose caps”.

  13. likedragon

    Because when people talk about leverage in Forex they focus in on its unique selling point, which is that it enables a trader to control large trading volumes with only a small investment.
    Forex brokers are especially keen to tell you about how much leverage they will give you just to get you to open an account with them. Different brokers offer different levels of leverage, although the most commonly quoted is leverage.

  14. These are “considered by U.S. sources” the 10 largests banks maybe, but not the world if you consider trust holding side banks. Having had first hand experience of transactions involving hundreds of world banks, these are not the 10 largests banks of the world. Citibank is about the 100th largest bank in the world.

  15. I’m pretty sure the Japanese were dominating in 1990 (Japan held the top 5 spots back then). In fact US banks began to decline in terms of relative size to rest of world’s banks in the late 1950s.

  16. Wow! What a difference 20 years make! Only 2 of the top 10 were foreign back then – now it’s hard to find one in there. Guess that goes to show how boutique investing/banking and the lack of savings have come about to hurt America’s standing over all.

    • Observer

      JP Morgan Chase is likely not to be on this list much longer
      when they finish sorting out the Madoff Swindle.

      That this bank just got a $136,000,000 judgment against
      them is an indication that they believe in dishonesty at
      the highest levels.

      The Madoff Swindle which is still before the courts
      is a Four Billion Dollar Claim…..

      If you look behind the scenes and find some of the
      other ways this bank can swindle it’s account holders
      you will likely find fraudulent charges and rigged
      computer programs…….

      A sad day for the good name of a man who made
      banking history in the United States

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