Despite an economic slowdown on the back of global trade tensions, China's largest banks continued to grow in 2019 and further embedded their positions among the world's biggest banks, S&P Global Market Intelligence's annual global bank ranking shows.
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 positions as the four largest banks in the world, posting a combined asset value of $14.821 trillion, up 7.52% from the prior year's ranking. Other Chinese banks also saw strong asset growth compared to their global peers; nine of the remaining 15 Chinese banks on the top-100 list ranked higher this year than they had previously.
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China remains to be home to the greatest number of top 100 banks, with 19 institutions collectively holding assets worth $25.814 trillion. The U.S. followed next with 11 institutions holding combined assets of $13.039 trillion.
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. Total assets were taken on an "as-reported" basis and no adjustments are made to account for differing accounting standards. The majority of banks were ranked by total assets as of Dec. 31, 2017. In the previous ranking published April 11, 2017, most company assets were as of Dec. 31, 2016, and were adjusted for pending and completed M&A as of March 31, 2017.