Asia home to world's 5 biggest banks: S&P ranking

NEW YORK • The world's five largest banks are all based in Asia, according to a latest report on global bank rankings, with China-headquartered banks making up the top four in the list. DBS came in at No. 70, OCBC was at 82 and UOB was ranked 96th in the S&P Global Market Intelligence rankings released yesterday.

The report ranks the largest banks in the world by converting their total assets into American dollars using the exchange rate as of the end of the period measured. Most banks this year were ranked by total assets as of Dec 31, last year.

DBS, with assets of US$322.55 billion (S$436 billion), jumped five spots from its previous rank published in August last year. OCBC, with US$274.90 billion in assets, fell three places to No. 82 while UOB retained the 96th position on the list with US$222.64 billion. The 2015 list had ranked most banks by total assets as of March 31, last year.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China retained top spot on the list with US$3.4 trillion in assets, followed by China Construction Bank (US$2.8 trillion) and Agricultural Bank of China (US$2.7 trillion). Bank of China (US$2.6 trillion) jumped one spot to No. 4 while Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (US$2.5 trillion) rounded off the top five, jumping three spots.

London-based HSBC Holdings fell to No. 6 from No. 4 in the previous ranking. The company's total assets dropped to US$2.4 trillion. In the previous ranking, HSBC was the only bank in the top five that was not headquartered in China.

JPMorgan Chase (US$2.4 trillion) continued to be the largest United States-based bank despite falling by one spot to No. 7 in the global ranking, but it would rank No. 2 if it followed the same accounting principles as the Chinese banks, reported.

Banks in the US report their financials under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), a commonly accepted way of recording and reporting accounting information. The largest Chinese banks, on the other hand, report under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Under US GAAP, banks report the net amount of derivative assets on their balance sheets, while IFRS companies must report the gross amount of derivative assets.

If JPMorgan filed under IFRS, S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates it would add assets of US$902.2 billion, bringing its total assets to US$3.3 trillion and making it the second-largest bank in the world, reported.

The bank posted its first-quarter results yesterday, recording a profit with net income falling 6.7 per cent to US$5.52 billion from US$5.91 billion a year earlier.

It has also cut 30 jobs, or 5 per cent of its headcount, at its Asia wealth management business, sources told Reuters, as it sharpens its focus on tapping wealthier clients. The job cuts would affect the bank's Singapore and Hong Kong offices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2016, with the headline 'Asia home to world's 5 biggest banks: S&P ranking'. Subscribe