The Top 25 Global Banks by Assets

by: David Hunkar

The total assets of the top banks of the world grew by 6.8% in 2008 per The Banker magazine. However there was no asset growth among the top 10 banks in the list shown below.

The Top 25 World banks for 2009 based on Asset Growth are:

Rank Bank Country Ticker
1 Royal Bank of Scotland UK RBS
2 Deutsche Bank Germany DB
3 Barclays Bank UK BCS
4 BNP Paribas France BNPQY.PK
5 HSBC Holdings UK HBC
6 Credit Agricole Group France
7 JP Morgan Chase & Co US JPM
8 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Japan MTU
9 Citigroup US C
10 UBS Switzerland UBS
11 ING Bank Netherlands ING
12 Bank of America Corp US BAC
13 Societe Generale France SCGLY.PK
14 Mizuho Financial Group Japan MFG
15 Santander Central Hispano Spain STD
16 UniCredit Italy
17 ICBC China
18 Wells Fargo & Co US WFC
19 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Japan SMFJY.PK
20 China Construction Bank Corp China
21 Credit Suisse Group Switzerland CS
22 Agricultural Bank of China China
23 Bank of China China
25 Dexia Belgium
Click to enlarge

Source: The Banker

Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) tops the list with total assets of $3.5T. This amount has grown so high for RBS because it acquired ABN Amro Bank of The Netherlands in 2007. That deal was the largest banking merger in history. ABN Amro was acquired by a consortium consisting of RBS, Fortis and Banco Santander (STD). This deal is now not only the largest banking merger, but probably one of the worst deals ever since ABN was acquired at the peak of the credit bubble.

Out of the three Chinese banks on this list, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China are new entrants this year. Chinese banks are growing rapidly due to a strong lending environment in the domestic market as well as growth in select markets overseas. In one of its strategic moves, ICBC of China acquired a 20 percent stake in South Africa’s Standard Bank in late 2007 for expansion into Africa. Standard Bank is one of the regional heavyweights in Africa with a significant presence in many countries.

Another new entrant to the top 25 list is US-based Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Wachovia last year increased its total assets. Lloyds Bank (NYSE:LYG) acquired UK’s largest mortgage lender HBOS plc last year as well.