World’s Safest Banks 2022 Biggest Banks

China and South Korea continue to dominate the biggest banks in emerging markets, but India is catching up.

Our ranking of the biggest global banks represents a valuable compilation and reveals the balance sheet impact of these institutions as they navigated through the height of the pandemic. 

The asset base of the top 50 biggest banks increased just 5% during 2021. That stands in sharp contrast to the 17% growth in 2020, which reflected the impact of enormous government stimulus programs within their respective economies. Our data primarily reflects asset figures as of December 2021, with some figures from the first quarter of 2022 depending on fiscal year-ends.

This year the threshold for inclusion among the 50 biggest banks rose to $765 billion, representing a 6% increase, and 40 banks now have at least $1 trillion in assets, up from 38 last year. Chinese banks take the top four spots, expanded their presence with 15 institutions represented, including Ping An Bank coming in at No. 48. JPMorgan Chase retains its No. 5 spot aided by a 10% increase in assets, while in-country peer Bank of America rose to No. 6 as its balance sheet grew 10% year over year. In aggregate, the US places six banks among the top 50, France and the UK each five, while Canada and Japan each add four entities.

Most banks posted solid asset growth, primarily in Canada, China, the US and Western Europe. However, some countries’ banks saw balance sheet reductions across the board.  These include Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit; Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui, Mizuho and Norinchukin; and French institutions BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, BPCE and Societe Generale. Individual banks with notable balance sheet contraction include the troubled Credit Suisse, down 9%, and Deutsche Bank, down 7%, both of which are undergoing restructuring. In addition to Ping An Bank, new entrants include Bank of Montreal at No. 47 and CaixaBank at No. 49, with the three new entrants displacing Rabobank, Banque Federative du Credit Mutuel, and BBVA.