LONDON: 1 July 2013: A Chinese bank has come top in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks ranking for the first time ever. ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) has moved from third to first place on the back of a 15% increase in capital. Last year’s winner Bank of America fell back to third while JP Morgan stayed second.

ICBC’s stellar performance marks a new high in the growing strength of the Chinese banks. China’s second largest bank China Construction Bank (CCB) also grew its capital by 15% and dislodged Citigroup from fifth place. The UK’s only bank in the top 10 is fourth-placed HSBC, which gains significant earnings from its Asian operations.

China now has 96 banks in the Top 1000 ranking and holds four places in the Top 10. Its big four banks ICBC, CCB, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China head the table for the largest profits.

Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker, says: “For several years now European and American banks have been stagnant and shrinking while Chinese banks have been expanding in line with the growth in the Chinese economy. On most measures they now score as well or better than Western banks but their big test will be how they cope asChina’s growth slows over the next few years.”

The total profits of the Top 1000 banks are now back close to pre-crisis levels overall but their distribution is very uneven. Before the crisis European banks accounted for 46% of global profits and 58% of total assets (2006). Now they have 43% of assets and a meagre 1.58% of profits. Asia’s banks have moved in the other direction increasing their assets from 22% of the total to 35% and their profits from 19% to 56%.

Though European banks continue to perform badly, one of the best European performers is Turkey where the banks grew profits by 37%. Spanish banks together lost $73bn accounting for nearly 5% of GDP. In a table of the 10 largest losses six of the banks are Spanish.

Globally, Africa’s banks have doubled their share of profits from 1.15% in 2006 to 2.31% now and central and south America’s share has nearly tripled from 2.37% to 6.37% over the same period.

For more information, graphs and a video on The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks ranking: http://releasd.com/ySWM

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About The Banker:

The Banker is the world’s premier banking and finance resource, providing global financial intelligence since 1926.

The Banker is the key source of data and analysis for the industry. The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks ranking has been setting the industry benchmark since 1970, providing comprehensive intelligence about the health and wealth of the banking sector. To find out more visit www.thebanker.com/top1000worldbanks.

Brian Caplen has been a financial and business journalist for more than 25 years He has worked in Hong Kong and theMiddle Eastand reported from all over the world. He joined The Banker in 2000 and became editor in 2003.

About The Banker Database

The Banker Database provides comprehensive financial data, news feeds and executive contact data on the leading banks in every country. Our data has been standardised for regional reporting and regulatory variations, and forms the basis of The Banker’s monthly bank rankings.

Over the past five decades our rankings have become the industry standard for measuring bank performance and strength. The database tracks banks in more than 190 jurisdictions representing 90% of the world’s total banking assets. To find out more about The Banker Database visit www.thebankerdatabase.com.

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