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Which Country Owns the Most Banks? Ranking of the Largest and Safest Banks in 2023

The world’s top global banks managed to weather the recent banking crisis in the United States with relative calm, despite the bankruptcy of three major and influential players in the American financial sector. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate, and Signature Bank caught even the most seasoned experts off guard. However, on March 23, 2023, it became evident that the impact of external factors, primarily the sharp rise in interest rates and cryptocurrency volatility, coupled with a lack of risk assessment prowess, could undermine the positive outcomes achieved over many years.

Reliable banks

In 2022, banks within the top 10 demonstrated a steady growth trajectory, and their performance indicators for Q1 2023 have also been favorable. This indicates that the leadership of these banking institutions has adeptly assessed the risks, strategically investing their clients’ funds in the most reliable sectors of business. These banks not only managed to stay afloat but also maintained their leading positions in the rankings when directly compared to the previous year.

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When it comes to the most reliable banks (according to the highest or near highest ratings from Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P), the top positions are traditionally occupied by European banking institutions such as KfW, Zuercher Kantonalbank, BNG Bank, and Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank. However, the positions of Chinese financial conglomerates in the assessments of rating agencies are equally noteworthy. The systemic financial crisis in the United States, some of the causes of which are global in nature, has had little impact on them.

The trend of the increasing significance of Chinese banking institutions in 2022 was evident, but it is premature to claim that Chinese banks are starting to dominate on a global scale. The distribution of leaders by country in the most prestigious top 10 category is as follows:

  • China – 4 positions
  • United States – 2 positions
  • Europe – 2 positions
  • United Kingdom, Japan – 1 position each.

It is essential to understand that any ratings, even the most objective ones, are not absolute. Many reputable publications highlight other top banking institutions or alternative factual data is used as a baseline criterion, such as the bank’s asset size, volume of debt obligations, or available cash reserves, rather than market capitalization.

Another interesting point concerns the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies’ influence on the global financial system. In terms of market capitalization, Bitcoin claimed the top spot in the 2022 rankings, with the Ethereum project securing the 4th position. Traditional banks – ICBC, Bank of America, and Agricultural Bank of China – joined them in the honorable top 5 positions. They ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, respectively.

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Key trends and figures confirming the growing influence of China on the global financial market are as follows:

  • The number of Chinese banking institutions in the S&P Global Market Intelligence’s top 100 ranking for 2022 increased to 20 (compared to 19 in 2021).
  • The combined assets of the 19 Chinese banks featured in both ranking versions grew by 2.4%.
  • The top four largest banks experienced a 4.1% increase in their assets (from USD 19.081 trillion to USD 19.871 trillion).
  • The aggregate assets of the eight largest banks in Japan decreased by 8.8%, and the 11 largest banking institutions in the United States saw a decrease of 0.4%.

Ranking of the largest banks in 2023

The 2023 ranking of the largest banks is compiled based on data from S&P Global, a media conglomerate (previously known as The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and McGraw Hill Financial). The top list of the largest banks reflects the situation as of the end of 2022. This ranking allows for tracking general trends in the financial sector and provides data on specific regions. The fundamental criterion for evaluation is ranking by assets.

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Global ranking:

Place in 2023/2022 rankingsBankExchange codeCountryAccounting principleAmount of assets, USD trillion
1 / 1Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.1398-SEHKChinaIFRS5,742.86
2 / 2China Construction Bank Corp.939-SEHKChinaIFRS5,016.81
3 / 3Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.1288-SEHKChinaIFRS4,919.03
4 / 4Bank of China Ltd.3988-SEHKChinaIFRS4,192.12
5 / 5JPMorgan Chase & Co.JPM-NYSEUSAU.S. GAAP3,665.74
6 / 7Bank of America Corp.BAC-NYSEUSAU.S. GAAP3,051.38
7 / 6Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.8306-TSEJapanJapanese GAAP2,967.91
8 / 8HSBC Holdings PLCHSBA-LSEUnited KingdomIFRS2,864.59
9 / 9BNP Paribas SABNP-ENXTPAFranceIFRS2,849.61
10 / 10Credit Agricole Group FranceIFRS2,542.61

Asia-Pacific ranking:

Place in 2023 rankingBankExchange codeAmount of assets, USD trillion
1Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.1398-SEHK5,742.86
2China Construction Bank Corp.939-SEHK5,016.81
3Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.1288-SEHK4,919.03
4Bank of China Ltd.3988-SEHK4,192.12
5Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.8306-TSE2,967.91
6Postal Savings Bank of China Co. Ltd.1658-SEHK2,039.56
7Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.8316-TSE2,006.75
8Mizuho Financial Group Inc.8411-TSE1,909.35
9Bank of Communications Co. Ltd.3328-SEHK1,883.72
10Japan Post Bank Co. Ltd.7182-TSE1,719.92

European ranking:

Place in 2023 rankingBankExchange codeAmount of assets, USD trillion
1HSBC HoldingsHSBA-LSE2,864.59
2BNP Paribas SABNP-ENXTPA2,849.61
3Credit Agricole Group 2,542.61
4Banco Santander SASAN-BME1,853.86
5Barclays PLCBARC-LSE1,823.84
6UBS Group AGUBSG-SWX1,679.36
7Groupe BPCE 1,636.35
8Société Générale SAGLE-ENXTPA1,588.99
9Deutsche Bank AGDBK-XTRA1,428.65
10Crédit Mutuel Group 1,180.22

Latin/South America and the Caribbean ranking:

Place in 2023 rankingBankExchange codeAmount of assets, USD trillion
1Itau Unibanco Holding SAITUB4-B0VESPA0,439.50
2Banco do Brasil SABBAS3-BOVESPA0,379.78
3Banco Bradesco SABBDC4-BOVESPA0,340.41

Middle East and Africa ranking:

Place in 2023 rankingBankExchange codeAmount of assets, USD trillion
1Qatar National Bank (QPSC)QNBK-DSM0,323.56
2First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSCFAB-ADX0,302.22

USA and Canada ranking:

Place in 2023 rankingBankExchange codeAmount of assets, USD trillion
1JPMorgan Chase & Co.JPM-NYSE3,665.74
2Bank of America Corp.BAC-NYSE3,051.38
3Citigroup Inc.C-NYSE2,416.68
4Wells Fargo & Co.WFC-NYSE 1,881.02
5Royal Bank of CanadaRY-TSX1,544.17
6The Toronto-Dominion BankTD-TSX1,524.83
7Goldman Sachs Group Inc.GS-NYSE1,441.80
8Morgan StanleyMS-NYSE1,180.23
9The Bank of Nova ScotiaBNS-TSX1,029.80
10Bank of MontrealBMO-TSX0,859.05

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Interpretation of results

If a bank is not mentioned in the above ranking, it does not mean it is unworthy of potential clients’ attention. Similarly, a high position in the top ranking does not guarantee that a banking institution will not face significant difficulties in case of unfavorable circumstances. However, in general, the ranking of the largest banks can be useful when making a choice.

Global trends impacting banks worldwide and the final ranking distribution are as follows:

  • The assets of the top 100 largest banks, as of the end of 2022, decreased by 1.5% (from USD 113.67 trillion to USD 111.96 trillion).
  • The growth of lending in China declined by 0.5%, mainly due to the People’s Bank of China’s accommodative monetary policy.
  • UBS Group AG showed the highest growth (advancing from the 34th to the 20th position in the ranking). However, this does not account for the emergency asset acquisition deal of Credit Suisse Group AG.
  • Following the merger, UBS Group AG surpassed French banks Groupe BPCE and Société Générale SA (ranking 21st and 22nd, respectively).
  • Deutsche Bank AG dropped five positions (from 22nd to 27th), with the bank’s assets declining by 13%.
  • European banks are expected to face stricter standards due to concerns from European Union regulators regarding liquidity.

Global trends impacting banks in the Asia-Pacific region:

  • The total number of banks in the ranking of the largest banking institutions increased to 43 (from 41).
  • A new participant in the prestigious banking top 100, appearing at the 97th position, resulted from the merger between Macquarie Group Ltd and Bank of Ningbo (Australia).
  • The overall statistics for the region’s banking sector in 2022 were positive: 22 banks improved their positions in the ranking, 7 maintained their positions, and only 14 saw a decline.
  • 10 Chinese banks occupy the top positions in the ranking.
  • 7 out of 8 Japanese banks demonstrated a deterioration in their performance.

Global trends impacting banks in the United States:

  • In 2022, the statistics recorded an overall decrease in assets.
  • Deposit outflows served as a prelude to a significant liquidity crisis in March 2023, the consequences of which will be reflected in the next edition of the ranking of the world’s largest banks.
  • US Bancorp notably strengthened its position, climbing 9 spots (currently ranked 51st), with a 17.7% increase in assets. This growth can largely be attributed to the acquisition of the American subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.

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The world’s largest banking institutions – an alternative perspective

S&P Global, a reputable and respected media holding, is a reliable provider of verified information, making the ranking results unquestionably trustworthy. However, this does not mean that its distribution of positions in the top ranking of the largest banks is the only possible option. If we base our analysis on specific criteria rather than aggregate measures, the final result may turn out to be somewhat different.

The largest banks ranked by market cap:

Place in the ranking as for May 2023BankExchange codeMarket capitalization, USD billionCountry
1JPMorgan ChaseJPM399,59USA
2ICBC1398.HK255,10China
3Bank of AmericaBAC220,82USA
4Agricultural Bank of China601288.SS193,01China
5China Construction Bank601939.SS184,69China
6Bank of China601988.SS175,21China
7HSBCHSBC152,63UK
8Wells FargoWFC145,45USA
9Morgan StanleyMS141,75USA
10Royal Bank Of CanadaRY136,13Canada

The largest banks ranked by total assets:

Place in the ranking as for May 2023BankExchange codeTotal assets, USD trillionCountry
1ICBC1398.HK5,743China
2China Construction Bank601939.SS5,017China
3Agricultural Bank of China601288.SS4,919China
4Bank of China601988.SS4,192China
5JPMorgan ChaseJPM3,744USA
6Bank of AmericaBAC3,194USA
7Mitsubishi UFJ FinancialMUFG2,991Japan
8HSBCHSBC2,966UK
9BNP ParibasBNP.PA2,937France
10CitigroupC2,455USA

The largest banks by ranked by net assets:

Place in the ranking as for May 2023BankExchange codeNet assets, USD billionCountry
1ICBC1398.HK509,47China
2China Construction Bank601939.SS417,39China
3Agricultural Bank of China601288.SS387,77China
4Bank of China601988.SS372,27China
5JPMorgan ChaseJPM303,08USA
6Bank of AmericaBAC280,19USA
7CitigroupC209,01USA
8HSBCHSBC196,02UK
9Wells FargoWFC183,22USA
10Bank of Communications601328.SS153,93China

The largest banks ranked by total liabilities:

Place in the ranking as for May 2023BankExchange codeTotal liabilities, USD trillionCountry
1ICBC1398.HK5,233China
2China Construction Bank601939.SS4,599China
3Agricultural Bank of China601288.SS4,531China
4Bank of China601988.SS3,820China
5JPMorgan ChaseJPM3,441USA
6Bank of AmericaBAC2,914USA
7Mitsubishi UFJ FinancialMUFG2,856Japan
8BNP ParibasBNP.PA2,793France
9HSBCHSBC2,770UK
10CitigroupC2,246USA

The largest banks ranked by total debt:

Place in the ranking as for May 2023BankExchange codeTotal debt, USD billionCountry
1JPMorgan ChaseJPM482,88USA
2Mitsubishi UFJ FinancialMUFG364,82Japan
3Bank of AmericaBAC340,43USA
4Royal Bank Of CanadaRY320,30Canada
5CitigroupC319,87USA
6Agricultural Bank of China601288.SS319,44China
7Toronto Dominion BankTD314,79Canada
8SantanderSAN312,70Spain
9Goldman SachsGS306,00USA
10BNP ParibasBNP.PA291,53France

The largest banks ranked by cash on hand:

Place in the ranking as for May 2023BankExchange codeTotal cash on hand, USD billionCountry
1Mitsubishi UFJ FinancialMUFG797,23Japan
2Crédit AgricoleACA.PA683,22France
3ICBC1398.HK669,44China
4Bank of China601988.SS579,65China
5JPMorgan ChaseJPM567,23USA
6Agricultural Bank of China601288.SS545,90China
7China Construction Bank601939.SS526,32China
8Sumitomo Mitsui Financial GroupSMFG517,65Japan
9BNP ParibasBNP.PA507,68France
10Mizuho Financial GroupMFG434,40Japan

The world’s safest banks

While the size of a bank’s assets, its market capitalization, or its cash reserves are important factors when determining the safest banking institution, these parameters do not hold primary significance. Far greater weight is given to the ratings provided by Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P. It is these ratings that showcase the level of stability and safety of a specific financial institution.

The top 10 safest banks, region – the whole world:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1KfWGermanyAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
2Zuercher KantonalbankSwitzerlandAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
3BNG BankNetherlandsAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
4Landwirtschaftliche RentenbankGermanyAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
5Nederlandse WaterschapsbankNetherlandsNR9Aaa10AAA1029
6L-BankGermanyAAA10Aaa10AA+929
7KommunalbankenNorwayNR9Aaa10AAA1029
8NRW.BANKGermanyAAA10Aa19AA827
9Swedish Export Credit CorporationSwedenNR8Aa19AA+926
10Caisse des Depots et ConsignationsFranceAA8Aa28AA824

The top 10 safest banks, region – North America:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1Royal Bank of CanadaCanadaAA-7Aa19AA-723
2Toronto-Dominion BankCanadaAA-7Aa28AA-722
3Bank of Nova ScotiaCanadaAA-7Aa28A+621
4Bank of MontrealCanadaAA-7Aa28A+621
5Canadian Imperial Bank of CommerceCanadaAA-7Aa28A+621
6Federation des Caisses Desjardins du QuebecCanadaAA-7Aa28A+621
7Agri BankUSAAA-7Aa37AA-721
8CoBankUSAAA-7NR6AA-720
9AgFirstUSAAA-7Aa37NR620
10Farm Credit Bank of TexasUSAAA-7Aa37NR620

The top 10 safest banks, region – Latin America:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1Banco del Estado de ChileChileNR4.5A16A515.5
2Banco de ChileChileNR4.5A16A515.5
3Scotiabank ChileChileA+6NR4.5A515.5
4Banco Santander-ChileChileNR4A16A-414
5Banco de Credito e InversionesChileA-4A25A-413
6Itau CorpBancaChileNR2.5A34BBB+39.5
7Banco Santander MexicoMexicoBBB+3Baal3NR28
8Scotiabank PeruPeruBBB+3Baal3BBB28
9Banco BICEChileBBB+3NR2BBB+38
10Banco de Credito del PeruPeruBBB2Baal3BBB27

The top 10 safest banks, region – Western Europe:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1KfWGermanyAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
2Zuercher KantonalbankSwitzerlandAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
3BNG BankNetherlandsAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
4Landwirtschaftliche RentenbankGermanyAAA10Aaa10AAA1030
5Nederlandse WaterschapsbankNetherlandsNR9Aaa10AAA1029
6L-BankGermanyAAA10Aaa10AA+929
7KommunalbankenNorwayNR9Aaa10AAA1029
8NRW.BANKGermanyAAA10Aa19AA827
9Swedish Export Credit CorporationSwedenNR8Aa19AA+926
10Caisse des Depots et ConsignationsFranceAA8Aa28AA824

The top 10 safest banks, region – Central and Eastern Europe:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1Komercni BankaCzech RepublicA5A16A516
2ING Bank SlaskiPolandA+6A25NR4.515.5
3BNP Paribas Bank PolskaPolandA+6Baal3NR3.512.5
4Bank PekaoPolandBBB+3A25BBB+311
5Santander Bank PolskaPolandBBB+3A34NR2.59.5
6Banca Comerciala RomanaRomaniaBBB+3Baal3NR28
7BRD-Groupe Societe GeneraleRomaniaBBB+3Baal3NR28
8Erste Bank HungaryHungaryBBB+3Baal3NR28
9mBankPolandBBB-1A34BBB27
10Nova Ljubljanska bankaSloveniaNR1.5Baal3BBB26.5

The top 10 safest banks, region – Asia:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1DBS BankSingaporeAA-7Aa19AA-723
2Oversea-Chinese Banking CorporationSingaporeAA-7Aa19AA-723
3United Overseas BankSingaporeAA-7Aa19AA-723
4Korea Development BankSouth KoreaAA-7Aa28AA823
5Export-Import Bank of KoreaSouth KoreaAA-7Aa28AA823
6Industrial Bank of KoreaSouth KoreaAA-7Aa28AA-722
7Bank of TaiwanTaiwanNR6.5Aa37AA821.5
8Hang Seng BankHong KongAA-7Aa37AA-721
9China Development BankChinaA+6A16A+618
10Agricultural Development Bank of ChinaChinaA+6A16A+618

The top 10 safest banks, region – Middle East:

PlaceBankCountryFitchMoody’sS&PTotal points
RankingPointsRankingPointsRankingPoints
1First Abu Dhabi BankUAEAA-7Aa37AA-721
2Qatar National BankQatarA5Aa37A517
3Abu Dhabi Commercial BankUAEA+6A16A517
4National Bank of KuwaitKuwaitA+6A16A517
5Emirates NBDUAEA+6A25NR4.515.5
6Abu Dhabi Islamic BankUAEA+6A25NR4.515.5
7Bank LeumiIsraelA5A25A515
8Bank HapoalimIsraelA5A25A515
9Saudi National BankSaudi ArabiaA-4A16A-414
10Mizrahi Tefahot BankIsraelA5A25A-414

Choosing a reliable, large, and secure bank can be done through various methods. However, it would be a mistake to rely solely on the data provided in rankings. The most crucial condition is the compatibility of the banking institution with the specific client, their requirements, and preferences.

The process of selecting a bank is much more complex and cannot be reduced to choosing the best based on a single criterion. Therefore, we strongly recommend seeking assistance from International Wealth experts, who can help you find the best options for your specific situation.

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