Top 10: Banks in the World

FinTech Magazine Takes a Look at the top 10 Banks in the World
Despite a tumultuous 18 months for the sector, banks make up many of the world's largest institutions. FinTech Magazine takes a look at the big players...

Banking endured a rather tumultuous 2023, as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, among others, sent shockwaves through the industry 

Then there was UBS’ cut-price takeover of Credit Suisse, agreed virtually overnight in a bid to prevent a potential financial crisis. 

Nevertheless, big-name financial institutions remain some of the biggest companies in the world. The US remains home to many of these, although China has become a big player in recent years.

Here, FinTech Magazine takes a look at the top 10 banks in the world.

10. HSBC

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With an underlying purpose of opening up a world of opportunity for its customers, HSBC remains one of the world's biggest banking and financial services organisations.

Today, the firm serves around 40 million customers through its three business divisions: Wealth and Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, and Global Banking & Markets.

Listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York and Bermuda stock exchanges, shares in HSBC Holdings PLC are held by more than 180,000 shareholders in 128 different countries and territories.


According to the Forbes Global 2000, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the largest company in the world ranked by assets (US$6.12tn). 

ICBC was established back in 1984, before being wholly restructured into a joint-stock limited company in 2005. A year later, the firm was successfully listed on both the Shanghai Stock Exchange and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong

In recent years, the bank has taken significant involvement in emerging sectors including green finance and sci-tech innovation, increasing performance.

8. China Construction Bank

China Construction Bank remains one of the nation’s ‘big four’.

Its history dates back to 1954 when the People's Construction Bank of China was founded as a wholly state-owned bank under the direction of the Ministry of Finance to administer and disburse government funds for construction and infrastructure-related projects.

A quarter of a century later, the bank became a financial institution under the direction of the State Council and gradually assumed more commercial banking functions.

7. Agricultural Bank of China

The second-highest Chinese entry on the list, the Agricultural Bank of China sits fifth in the Forbes Global 2000 and holds assets exceeding US$5tn. 

Headquartered in Beijing, the bank is divided into four main business segments: corporate finance, personal finance, treasury and asset management.

In October 2021, the Agricultural Bank of China signed the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, affirming its commitment to developing green finance and supporting sustainable development.

6. Bank of China

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As China’s most globalised and integrated bank, the Bank of China has branches across the Chinese mainland, as well as in 62 countries and territories. 

The institution has a well-established global service network and an integrated service platform based on the pillars of corporate banking, personal banking, financial markets and other commercial banking business, including investment banking, securities, insurance and fintech. 

Customers, therefore, have access to global expertise and a broad range of services at any point of contact.

5. Citigroup

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Citibank first opened in 1812 as City Bank of New York and has, over the years, played a part in some of the world’s most innovative banking breakthroughs, including popularisation of the ATM. 

These days, Citi takes pride in its mission to serve as a trusted partner by providing financial services that enable growth and economic progress.

Core activities remain safeguarding assets, lending money, making payments and accessing capital markets on behalf of clients. 

Jane Fraser, CEO of Citi, has been vocal about the corporation’s intention to capitalise on generative AI, highlighting the importance of being proactive but integrating emerging technology responsibly.

4. BNP Paribas

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BNP Paribas was established back in 2000 following the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris and Paribas. It has since become the biggest bank in the European Union, with close to 190,000 employees around the world and almost US$3tn in assets. 

The organisation holds a leading position across all three of its major operating divisions:

  • Corporate & Institutional Banking
  • Commercial, Personal Banking & Services
  • Investment & Protection Services

On European soil, BNP Paribas serves four domestic markets in the form of Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg, and also deploys its integrated retail banking model in countries on the Mediterranean rim, Turkey and in Eastern Europe.

3. Wells Fargo

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With a vision to satisfy customers’ needs and help them succeed financially, Wells Fargo is a diversified, community-based financial services company with almost US$1.9bn in assets.

The San Francisco-based organisation provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through more than 7,300 locations, 12,000 ATMs and online banking.

Such is Wells Fargo’s far-reaching influence that the bank is said to serve around one in three households in the US, and has additional offices in more than 40 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy.

2. Bank of America

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Bank of America is one of the US’ ‘big four’ financial institutions and one of the largest in the world, serving a wide range of customers from fledgling startups to multinational corporations.

With its portfolio of banking, investment, asset management and risk management services, the firm caters to around 56 million consumers and small businesses. 

The oldest parts of Bank of America stem back 240 years, with the company in its current form made up of numerous sources that have merged over the past two-and-a-half centuries.

Ultimately, its core purpose today is to help make financial lives better through the power of every connection.

1. JPMorgan Chase & Co

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With assets totalling US$3.67tn, JPMorgan Chase & Co is the largest bank in North America. 

The institution’s history can be traced back more than 200 years to 1799, although JPMorgan Chase in its current form was founded in 2000 as a result of the merger of J.P. Morgan and Company and Chase Manhattan Corporation.

JPMorgan remains the name used for asset management and investment banking services, while Chase is the consumer banking division with almost 5,000 branches. Today, the business employs no fewer than around 290,000 people across the globe.

In 2023, JPMorgan jumped three places to top the 20th edition of the Forbes Global 2000 list, which ranks heavyweight firms based on their sales, profit, assets and market value.


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