The basic concept of banking has been in existence since several centuries when people did not even use money. It all started when the world traded with the barter system and a few merchants started giving grain loans to farmers.
Modern day banking system developed in the 14th century, when several banking establishments started operating in Europe. Since then, banks have become a lot more complex and acquired several new roles. Based on assets under management, here’s a quick look at top five largest banks in the world.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – Founded in 1984 as a limited company, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is currently a state-owned commercial bank with global operations. Part of the bank’s capital has been sourced through the Ministry of Finance of China. The bank has branches across Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, America and Australia. ICBC currently has assets worth USD 4,324.27 billion.
China Construction Bank – Founded in 1954, China Construction Bank (CCB) was earlier known as People’s Construction Bank of China. It got its new name in 1996. While it has thousands of braches in its home country, CCB also has operations across major cities in European countries, USA, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. As of 2020, it has USD 3,653.11 billion worth of assets under management.
Agricultural Bank of China – Also referred to as AgBank, Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) started operations way back in 1951. Just like other large Chinese banks, ABC also has global operations. It is a public limited company, with its shares listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. ABC currently manages assets worth USD 3,572.98 billion.
Bank of China – More than a century old, Bank of China started operations in 1912. In addition to its local network, Bank of China has branches in more than 27 countries. Even though it is not a central bank, Bank of China has been given the license to issue banknotes in Hong Kong and Macau region. Total assets under management are worth USD 3,270.15 billion.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group – Based in Tokyo, Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) came into existence in 2005 post the merger of Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group (MTFG) and UFJ Holdings. MUFG is currently one of the primary revenue generators for Mitsubishi Group. As of 2020, MUFG has USD 2,892.97 billion worth of assets under management.
As is evident from above, China is continuously strengthening its banking system with the goal to dominate the global financial system. It’s obvious that China wants to be the global superpower and it will need its banks to make it possible. China is also expected to match the military prowess of United States by 2027. As things stands now, it appears that China is all set to dominate the 21st century.