10. Agricultural Bank of China
Founded in 1951 and headquartered in Beijing, Agricultural Bank of China Limited (ABC or AgBank as it is also often referred to) is another of China’s financial institutions to have spread its reach across the world. The bank’s 444,000-odd employees can be found operating in branches throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, New York, Frankfurt, Sydney, Seoul and Singapore. In 2010 the bank became the last of China’s ‘big four’ to go public, fetching what was then the world's biggest ever initial public offering (IPO).
9. Bank of China (BOC)
Bank of China (BOC) first took its name in 1912, replacing the Government Bank of Imperial China in the same year that the Republic of China was formally established. One of China’s four state-owned commercial banks, BOC is the oldest bank in the country still in existence. Initially functioning as the Chinese central bank it became a purely commercial enterprise in 1928. BOC is undoubtedly the most international of China’s banks, with branches established on every inhabited continent.
8. Wells Fargo & Co
While the Wells Fargo name can be traced all the way back to when Henry Wells and William G. Fargo established the business to provide express and banking services to California, the Wells Fargo & Co that exists today came about as a result of a merger between the original company and Norwest Corporation in 1998. The fourth largest bank in the US by assets and the largest by market capitalisation, Wells Fargo’s operations in 2013 expand across the globe with its 270,000 employees providing services to more than 70 million customers.
7. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
It was the merger of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group (MTFG), formally Japan’s second largest banking conglomerate, and Osaka-based UFJ Holdings on 1 October 2005 that marked the formation of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, the company is today Japan’s largest financial group and the world's second largest bank holding company holding around $1.7 trillion in deposits.
Headquartered in the financial heart of New York City, Citigroup was formed from one of the largest company mergers in history between the banking giant Citicorp and the financial conglomerate Travelers Group in 1998. With its largest shareholders including funds from the Middle East and Singapore, Citigroup operates the world’s largest financial services network, with around 16,000 offices in more than 140 countries. Today the corporation holds over 200 million customer accounts.
5. China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB)
Originally known as the People’s Construction Bank of China, China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB) was formed as a joint-stock commercial bank in September 2004. As of the end of 2011, CCB was the second largest bank in the world by market capitalisation and the thirteenth largest company on the planet. Its 13,639 branches and employee base of more than 329,000 have helped solidify CCB as one of the ‘big four’ banks operating in China. Further afield it maintains branches in Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, New York, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Melbourne, and Sydney, and a wholly owned subsidiary in London.
4. HSBC Holdings
Founded by Sir Thomas Sutherland in Hong Kong on 3 March 1865, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) founded HSBC Holdings in London in 1991. Today the organisation boasts around 7,200 offices in 85 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, and approximately 89 million customers. According to Forbes, as of the end of 2012 was the sixth largest public company.
3. Bank of America
The Bank of America Corporation is the fifth-largest company in the United States, and the third largest non-oil company, by total revenue. Figures taken in August 2009 show that Bank of America at the time held a total of 12.2 percent of all bank deposits in the United States. Today it retains a retail banking footprint that covers approximately 80 percent of the US population and serves approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships at 5,600 banking centres and 16,200 automated teller machines (ATMs).
2. JPMorgan Chase & Co
With a history that dates back over 200 years, JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States and the second largest bank in the world in terms of assets, which stand at $2.4 trillion. Its 260,000 employees operate in more than 60 countries throughout the world serving millions of customers, small businesses and a number of the world’s foremost corporate, institutional and government clients.
1. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
Founded in January 1984, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) is the largest bank in the world by profit and market capitalisation. At the end of 2011 the bank had a total of 408,859 employees on its payroll providing financial services and products to 4.11 million corporate clients and 282 million individual customers through 16,648 outlets across China, 239 overseas subsidiaries and a global network of more than 1,669 correspondent banks. In 2013, it ranked number one on Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest public companies, and number one in The Banker's Top 1000 World Banks ranking, the first time ever for a Chinese bank.