Biggest banks in the world vs South Africa

S&P Global Market Intelligence has released its annual global banking ranking, showing which global banks control the highest value in total assets.

The S&P ranking lists the largest banks in the world by converting their total assets into US dollars using the exchange rate as of the end of the period measured.

Most banks were ranked by total assets as of 31 December, 2015.

According to the ranking, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is by far the biggest bank in the world, with total assets of $3.42 trillion – with the second largest bank, China Construction Bank, trailing some way behind with assets of $2.83 trillion.

S&P noted that a difference in accounting principles makes it tricky to compare fairly. As an example, if JPMorgan Chase (ranked number 7 with assets totalling $2.35 trillion) had to use the same accounting standards as ICBC, it would rank second, with $3.25 trillion.

Under US GAAP rules, banks report the net amount of derivative assets on their balance sheets, while IFRS companies must report the gross amount of derivative assets.

These are the top 20 biggest banks in the world:

# Bank Country Total Assets (US$bn)
1 ICBC Ltd. China 3 420
2 China Construction Bank Corp. China 2 826
3 Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. China 2 740
4 Bank of China Ltd. China 2 590
5 Mitsubishi Financial Group Inc. Japan 2 459
6 HSBC Holdings Plc. UK 2 410
7 JPMorgan Chase USA 2 352
8 BNP Paribas SA France 2 166
9 Bank of America Corp. USA 2 144
10 Credit Agricole Group France 1 845
11 Wells Fargo & Co. USA 1 788
12 Deutsche Bank AG Germany 1 769
13 Citigroup Inc. USA 1 731
14 Japan Post Bank Co. Ltd. Japan 1 730
15 Barclays Plc UK 1 651
16 Mizuho Financial Group Inc. Japan 1 626
17 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Japan 1 558
18 Banco Santander SA Spain 1 456
19 Societe Generale SA France 1 449
20 Groupe BPCE France 1 267

According to the latest full year results from South Africa’s banking groups, Standard Bank currently has the biggest total for assets under management, at $128 billion.

Standard Bank is the also country’s biggest bank by clients, with operations in Africa and in the UK.

Read: Richest banks in South Africa

FirstRand, which houses First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and WesBank, has the second highest total, followed by Nedbank, Absa and Investec.

South Africa’s fastest-growing bank, Capitec, while gaining over 1 million new customers to overtake FNB in terms of retail banking customers, is still far out of the league in terms of assets.

The group controls a relatively paltry $4.2 billion in total assets.

# Bank Country Total Assets (US$bn)
1 Standard Bank South Africa 128
2 FirstRand South Africa 89
3 Nedbank South Africa 81
4 Absa South Africa 64
5 Investec South Africa 62
6 Capitec South Africa 4

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Biggest banks in the world vs South Africa