Despite economic regressions, banks have continued to hold billions, and sometimes trillions, worth of assets. The United States and China are the two leading countries when it comes to bank richness, with China taking the number one position for accumulated assets in the banking industry.
Primarily profiting from consumer interest and investment returns, many people are turning away from the traditional banking model, in favor of cryptocurrencies which have fewer liabilities. Though this shift is happening very slowly, the next few decades might show a steady decrease in bank held assets. For the time being, banks continue to reap the benefits of being the most-used and most-trusted choice of many when it comes to investments.
10 Postal Savings Bank of China: $373 Billion
The Postal Savings Bank of China has experienced mass success since its opening in 2007. The bank provides basic services to customers and prioritizes the needs of low-income clients, small businesses, and rural customers.
With over 40,000 branches in China alone, the speedy growth of this bank is almost unprecedented. It comes in second place for most branches in China, after the Agricultural Bank of China. With $373 billion of assets, this bank is one of the largest and richest in the world.
9 Bank of Communications: $1.38 Trillion
Another Asian bank with huge assets is the Bank of Communications, founded in China in 1908. It is in the top five of the largest and most profitable banks in China, with 2,800 branches operating in over 80 major cities in China.
With assets surpassing $1.38 trillion, the bank employs close to 100,000 people. With headquarters in Shanghai, the bank has also successfully set up major retail branches in Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, Frankfurt, and London.
8 Wells Fargo & Company: $1.89 Trillion
One of America's oldest banks, Wells Fargo, dates back to 1851 when Henry Wells and William Fargo opened the first branch in San Francisco, California. Though not the richest bank in the world, it has been named the most valuable bank in the world in studies executed by The Banker magazine, for the past two years.
With assets upwards of $1.89 trillion, the bank operates in over 8,000 branches, with over 13,000 ATM machines. Offering wealth management, insurance products, and brokerage services, Wells Fargo serves millions of clients worldwide.
7 Bank Of America: $2.32 Trillion
Bank of America is one of the most well-known banking institutions in the United States. With a total worth of $245 billion, it was originally opened as the Bank of Italy in 1904, in San Francisco.
The second-largest bank in America, it operates 4,600 retail financial centers worldwide, and close to 20,000 ATM machines. With 46 million clients, Bank of America is the third largest investment bank in the world and the 13th largest company in the world
6 HSBC: $2.55 Trillion
With headquarters in London, England, HSBC Bank has been operating since 1959. Offering its clients a variety of banking and wealth management services, HSBC caters to large businesses, as well as individuals. Day-to-day banking, long-term investments, and retirement plans are some of the offerings that HSBC provides its clients.
With 1,800 branches across the U.K., the bank now operates in over 80 countries. A universally recognized bank, HSBC has assets that total $2.55 trillion USD, making it one of the richest banks in the world.
5 JP Morgan Chase & Co.$2.62 Trillion
The largest bank in the United States is JP Morgan Chase & Co. Also operating under the name Chase Bank, it was founded in 1799, and has been an iconic part of American financial history since then. With headquarters in New York City, the bank is led by CEO Jamie Dimon.
With assets reaching $2.62 trillion last year, the bank is one of the largest in the world. Operating in over 100 countries, the bank boasts 5,100 branches and over 16,000 ATM machines. JP Morgan Chase is one of the 'Big Four' American banks and employs over a quarter of a million people.
4 Bank of China: $3.09 Trillion
The top 4 richest banks in the world are all Chinese founded. In the number four spot is the popular Bank of China, which has assets of $3.09 trillion. Founded in 1912, in Beijing, the bank now serves an international clientele, with overseas branches in New York, Paris, Lisbon, Montreal, and Karachi.
Offering day-to-day banking, the Bank of China also specializes in mortgages, asset management, and insurance.
3 Agricultural Bank of China: $3.26 Trillion
The third richest bank in the world is the Agricultural Bank of China, with $3.26 trillion worth of assets. Founded in 1951, it hosts its headquarters in Beijing and has 320 million retail customers.
Another 2.7 million corporate customers make this one of the most popular banks in China, and the world. With 24,000 branches around the world, the bank operates in the financial hubs of London, New York, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, and all over mainland China.
2 China Construction Bank: $3.37 Trillion
China Construction Bank is the 2nd richest bank in the world, and has consistently ranked in the top of the most profitable companies in the world. With $3.37 trillion worth of assets, the China Construction Bank was founded 65 years ago, in 1954.
Specializing in corporate banking, the bank provides loans, credit, and investment possibilities for small and large scale companies across the world. Despite focusing primarily on the needs of businesses, the bank also caters to individuals and offers a wide range of services for retail clients.
1 ICBC: $4.02 Trillion
The richest bank in the world is the China-based ICBC (Industrial and Commerce Bank of China). With $4.02 trillion worth of assets, the bank has been operating since 1984, and it also comes in at number one on the Forbes list of world's biggest public companies.
It was the first Chinese bank to adopt the Equator Principles in 2003, a set of environmental requirements that aim to keep waste down and consumption of energy reasonable. With millions of satisfied customers, the bank is likely to keep growing its assets, and should retain its spot as the richest bank in the world!