Cover Story : The World’s Biggest Banks 2005

Global Finance ranks the world’s 50 biggest banks, as measured by total assets.

 

 

csart03If there was any doubt that the world’s top banks have been thriving for the past year, the Global Finance listing of the world’s biggest banks should dispel it once and for all. Total assets held by just the top 10 banks has mushroomed to more than $12.6 trillion from last year’s $10.6 trillion. The numbers might not look so stunning, but that’s an additional $2,000 billion scooped up by just 10 banks. More remarkable, the total for the top 50 has grown by almost a quarter from last year’s $31 trillion to a hair under $38 trillion this year.

The growth in the assets held by the world’s banking titans has been anything but even, though, and, as a result, the top of the list has been transformed. With a massive 36% jump in assets to more than $1.5 trillion, Switzerland’s UBS has leapfrogged second-place Citigroup to adopt its mantle as the world’s biggest bank. The contrast with last year’s table-topper, Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group, could hardly be starker. The Japanese group added only $10 billion to its $1 trillion-plus stash and, not surprisingly, slipped to third place. Citigroup, despite suffering a difficult year in some markets and businesses, grew its assets by a respectable $220 billion to almost $1.5 trillion.

In other big changes, Deutsche Bank’s slide continues this year with a fall from fifth place to ninth, and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group skidded from seventh to 14th despite adding to its assets held. Its countrymate Sumitomo Mitsui saw its assets fall—and its ranking slipped accordingly, from 10th to 17th.


Dan Keeler

 

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