revalidation

The world’s biggest banks

Three high-rise buildings

The banking industry grew significantly in the past decade but fell through the ladder, which was primarily caused by the effects of COVID-19.

Nonetheless, some of the world’s major banks have maintained large assets over time. In this post, we look at the top banks in the world.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Country: United States  

Market capitalization: US$3.6 trillion  

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is currently the biggest bank in the world, with a total revenue of $158.1 billion. The bank's headquarters are located in New York City, USA, with its incorporation in Delaware. As of 2023, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s total assets were valued at over $3 trillion and are trading on the New York Stock Exchange as “JPM.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was founded on December 1, 2000, through the merger of three banks and the acquisition of the assets of several other banks. Bank One, Chase Manhattan Bank, and JPMorgan & Co. all merged with significant asset accumulations from First Republic, Bear Stearns, and Washington Mutual. The Bank was founded by Douglas A. Warner and William B. Harrison Jr.

In terms of its services, JPMorgan Chase & Co. provides a vast array of financial products, which include retail banking, commercial banking, investment banking, and asset management. JPMorgan Chase & Co. has a rich history that is rooted in American foundational economic growth traced back to the 19th-century American boom. This unique factor has sustained JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s longevity and adaptation in the global markets of some of the world’s largest economies. The bank owns a 10% stake in Bank of America.

Bank of America

Country: United States

Market capitalization: US$3.18 trillion

The Bank of America is the second biggest bank in the United States and the second biggest in the world. The financial institution has its corporate office in Charlotte, North Carolina, with over two thousand branches scattered across four continents.

The world’s second-biggest bank has a revenue of $98.6 billion and a total asset standing at a whopping $3 trillion as of March 2024. The Bank of America is trading on the New York Stock Exchange as "BAC.”

The Bank of America was established through the merger of the Bank of America and NationsBank in 1998. The Bank of America was originally founded by Amadeo Giannini in 1927. Since its founding, the bank has gone through numerous mergers and ownership changes until it was renamed the Bank of America on November 3, 1930. Today, the bank serves over 10% of the entire US population.

Bank of America takes the upper hand when it comes to dominating retail and commodities services through a host of financial solutions aimed at aiding businesses.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

Country: China 

Market capitalization: US$2.02 trillion

Sitting in the third spot is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. The world’s third-largest bank and China’s biggest bank. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. is a publicly owned bank by the government of China.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) was founded in 1984 with capital from the Chinese Ministry of Finance and the government of China as its sole shareholders. As of March 2024, the ICBC had revenue valued at US$105.4 billion and a total asset of $2.02 trillion.

With the support of the Chinese government, the ICBC controls more than 30% of the banking operations in China. With China having a population of over a billion people, the customer base of the ICBC has become significantly larger.

The bank’s corporate headquarters is located in Beijing. The ICBC is also quoted on two exchanges: the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Wells Fargo

Country: United States

Market capitalization: US$1.875 trillion

Wells Fargo is the third-largest bank in the United States and the fourth-largest in the world. Wells Fargo has two headquarters in Sioux Falls and New York City, with over five thousand branches across four continents. As of 2024, the bank had a revenue of US$73.8 billion and a total asset value of US$1.875 trillion.

Wells Fargo was founded on January 24, 1929, by Willis Fargo and Henry Wells. The bank is currently quoted on the New York Stock Exchange with the trading name “WFC.”

Wells Fargo is known for its robust retail banking presence that cuts across all states in America, including international reach on diverse platforms. The bank’s product range includes loans, saving schemes, credit and debit card services, etc.

In 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that the bank was rocked by a mild scandal that featured a plethora of fake accounts on its systems.

China Construction Bank Corp.

Country: China

Market capitalization: US$1.375 trillion

China Construction Bank Corp. sits in the fifth position on the list.  Founded on October 1, 1954, the CCB is one of the four biggest banks in China. In 2015, the bank was the world’s second-largest bank after JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The CCB currently has revenue of $44.8 billion and a total asset of $1.375 trillion as of 2024. The bank is currently quoted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. With over thirteen thousand branches globally, the bank stands as one of the most spread banks of Chinese origin.

Due to the growing population in China, the bank has leveraged a strategy of extensive branch networks in every Chinese district. The CCB has also optimised its systems through innovative digital initiatives to bolster its place as the major player in commercial banking services for both individual and corporate entities.

HSBC Holdings

Country: United Kingdom

Market capitalization: US$1.328 trillion

HSBC Holding is the biggest bank in Europe and in the United Kingdom. HSBC is technically a British bank with Chinese origins. The bank was founded in 1865 by Sir Thomas Sutherland, with its first branch in Hong Kong. HSBC started after Hong Kong became a British territory to finance banking transactions within Hong Kong and the UK. The bank currently has its headquarters in London and significant branches globally.

HSBC Holdings is the abbreviation of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The bank has a revenue of US$62.611 billion in 2023 and a total asset of $1.328 trillion. The HSBC holdings are currently quoted on the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the trading name HSBA.

Currently, the bank is the sixth largest bank in the world, providing services ranging across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Conclusion

These six banks have for several decades dominated their various terrains through strategic and innovative structures, all centred on providing adequate financial services.

One common theme among these big players in the global banking industry is the fact that their reach spans several countries. They also share the common trait of being able to adapt to the dynamic technological trends that have dominated all parts of the financial world. 

Although the global economy seems to fluctuate from time to time, it is all but certain that these financial institutions will be around for a long time and will play a crucial role in global financial service delivery.