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World's 10 biggest banks

Last updated on: June 9, 2010 12:37 IST

Rediff Business Desk

If Americans ever allow banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless, wrote Thomas Jefferson years ago.

His words are as relevant today as then especially in the context of the global financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008.

Many banks and financial institutions across the globe came under the lens during the global meltdown. Some braved the storm and emerged winners.

Post-crisis, the total decline in brand value of the Global Banking 500 stands at $209 billion and 84 per cent of the total loss in brand value is among the top 100 brands.

Here we present a list of the 10 biggest banks of the world in terms of market capital and brand value, as compiled by

Unfortunately, no Indian bank finds place in the list of top 10.


Brand value: $28,472 mn;
Brand rating: AAA+;
Market cap: $193,794 mn

Founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in March-April 1865, HSBC, a financial services corporation was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1990.

It was earlier known as Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

As of 2010, it is the world's 8th largest company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine.

With a huge operational base in Asia, HSBC is listed on the London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges. It is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index and the Hang Seng Index.


World's 10 biggest banks

2. Bank of America

Brand value: $26,047 mn;
Brand rating: AAA;
Market cap: $111,754 mn

Bank of America was formed after the consolidation of quite a few historical banks, the most prominent of those being the Bank of Italy.

In 1958, the bank introduced the BankAmericard, which changed its name to VISA in 1977. A consortium of other California banks came up with Master Charge (now MasterCard).

Bank of America has divisions in US, Europe and Asia.

The US headquarters are located in New York, European headquarters are based in London and Asia's headquarters are split between Singapore and Hong Kong.


World's 10 biggest banks

Image: Banco de Santander building.

3. Santander

Brand value: $25,576 mn;
Brand rating: AAA+;
Market cap: $128,087 mn

Grupo Santander is a banking group centered on Banco Santander, the largest bank in the Euro Zone. It originated and is headquartered in Santander, Spain.

In October 2008, the group acquired UK's Alliance & Leicester, which had pound 24 billion in deposits and 254 branches.

Grupo Santander consists of 131,819 employees, 90.1 million customers, 11,178 branches and 2.27 million shareholders.

Santander is a corporate sponsor of the Ferrari Formula 1 team.


World's 10 biggest banks

4. Wells Fargo

Brand value: $21,916 mn;
Brand rating: AA;
Market cap: $131,225 mn

The San Francisco, California-headquartered Wells Fargo & Co is a diversified financial services company with operations around the world.

Wells Fargo is a result of a 1998 merger between Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation and the original Wells Fargo.

In 1852, Henry Wells and William G Fargo (Mayor of Buffalo, New York), founders of American Express, formed Wells Fargo & Company to provide express and banking services to California.

As of 2009, Wells Fargo had 6,650 retail branches, 276,000 employees and over 48 million customers.


World's 10 biggest banks

5. Citi

Brand value: $14,362 mn;
Brand rating: A+;
Market cap: $70,105 mn

Citigroup Inc spans 140 countries with approximately 16,000 offices worldwide.

Based in New York, Citigroup was formed from the merger of Citicorp and financial conglomerate Travelers Group on April 7, 1998.

Citigroup suffered huge losses during the 2008 global financial crisis. It was rescued in a massive bailout by the US government.

Citigroup is one of the Big Four banks in the United States, along with Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.


World's 10 biggest banks

6. BNP Paribas

Brand value: $14,060 mn;
Brand rating: AA;
Market cap: $67,144 mn

BNP Paribas is a major European bank. It was created on May 23, 2000 through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris and Paribas. As on January 31, the bank's assets stood at $1,899.19 billion.

It's history can be traced back to 1869, when a group of bankers and investors, including Adrien Delahante, Edmond Joubert and Henri Cernuschi, founded the Banque de Paris.

The bank employs 162,700 people and operates in 87 countries. The bank is active in the finance, investment and asset management markets.


World's 10 biggest banks

Image: Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York.

7. Goldman Sachs

Brand value:  $13,887 mn;
Brand rating: AAA+;
Market cap: $93,316 mn

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc is a global investment banking and securities firm.

Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 and is  headquartered at the Lower Manhattan area of New York.

The group engages in investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients.

Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by German immigrant Marcus Goldman.

Despite the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis, Goldman was able to profit from the collapse in subprime mortgage bonds by short-selling subprime mortgage-backed securities.

However, the firm's viability was later questioned as the crisis intensified in September 2008.


World's 10 biggest banks

8. Chase

Brand value: $13,400 mn;
Brand rating: AA;
Market cap: $69,901 mn

Chase is the consumer and commercial banking division of JPMorgan Chase.

The bank is headquartered in Chicago.

It was known as Chase Manhattan Bank till its merger with JP Morgan & Co in 2000.

In 2006, Chase bought the retail banking division of the Bank of New York, who  months later merged with Pittsburgh-based Mellon Financial to form the present-day BNY Mellon.


World's 10 biggest banks

9. Bradesco

Brand value: $13,299 mn;
Brand rating: AAA-;
Market cap: $56,583 mn

Headquartered in Osasco, Brazil, Banco Bradesco is one of the Big Four banks in Brazil.

It employs 85,577 people and has 3,419 branches.

Bradesco has branches in New York, Grand Cayman and Nassau, and banking or financial subsidiaries in Nassau, Luxembourg, Buenos Aires, Grand Cayman and Tokyo.


World's 10 biggest banks

10. Barclays

Brand value: $13,134 mn;
Brand rating: AA;
Market cap: $56,155 mn

Barclays PLC is a major bank operating in Europe, the United States, West Asia, Latin America, Australia, Asia and Africa. It operates through its subsidiary Barclays Bank PLC.

It is headquartered in London.

It is the sponsor of the English Premier League.

The bank's roots can be traced back to 1690 in London. It borrowed its name from Alexander and David Barclay, who provided credit to slave traders. The bank is headed by Marcus Agius, the group chairman.

Barclays being a member of the global ATM Alliance, its customers can use ATMs of other banks free of charge.