May. 17 2017 — The world's five largest banks are all based in Asia, and China-headquartered banks made up the top four, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's latest global bank rankings.
China's "Big Four" — Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and Bank of China Ltd. — all maintained their rank as the four largest banks in the world with a combined $11.910 trillion in assets as of December 31, 2016. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. retained its place as the world's fifth largest bank at $2.590 trillion in assets.
Brexit was not kind to European currencies in 2016 — the euro bought $1.055 at the end of 2016, compared to $1.086 a year earlier, while the British pound fell to $1.235 from $1.474 over the same period. The drop in the pound alone knocked $289.53 billion off of the asset value for London-based Barclays Plc, which fell two spots in the ranking to No. 17, with $1.496 trillion in assets; the bank's assets would have been $1.785 trillion if converted to U.S. dollars using the year-end 2015 exchange rate.
In the latest ranking, company total assets were adjusted for pending mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, as well as M&A deals that closed after the end of the reporting period through March 31 on a best-efforts basis. Assets reported by non-U.S. dollar filers were converted to dollars using period-end exchange rates. The majority of banks were ranked by total assets as of December 31, 2016. In the previous ranking published April 12, 2016, most company assets were as of December 31 2015, but were not adjusted for any M&A activity.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., overtook Europe's largest bank, HSBC Holdings Plc, for the No. 6 spot with $2.491 trillion in assets. The largest U.S. bank would have ranked at No. 2 if it followed derivative accounting standards under IFRS, which allows for the gross value of derivative assets on the balance sheet, instead of U.S. GAAP, which requires only the net value. JPMorgan's assets would increase by $858.54 billion to $3.350 trillion as of year-end 2016 if it reported its gross derivative exposure.
The No. 99 and No. 100 banks from last year's ranking, Switzerland-based Raiffeisen Gruppe Switzerland and Taiwan-based Chunghwa Post Co. Ltd., dropped off this year to make way for China-based Bank of Shanghai Co. Ltd. and Bank of Jiangsu Co. Ltd., which joined the ranking at No. 89 and No. 94, respectively.
Eighteen of the top 100 banks are headquartered in China; collectively, these companies held $20.993 trillion in assets. The U.S. had the next highest number, with 12 banks holding $12.039 trillion, followed by Japan and the U.K., with eight and six banks holding $9.995 trillion and $6.806 trillion in assets, respectively.
Want to find out who else made the list? Download the complete ranking.