Love them or hate them, (you should probably hate them) there’s no escaping from banks in today’s modern society. Whether or not banks are making their money for the right reasons is a topic to debate over, but us here at Politics Bulletin we have compiled a list of the top 10 most profitable banks in the world in 2015.
10. TD Bank Group (Toronto-Dominion Bank) Profits: £4.4 Billion
TD bank is the largest bank in Canada although not the most profitable (See 6). The Bank was created in 1955 and employs over 79,000 people and has well over 20 million clients throughout the world.
9. Citigroup Profits: £4.5 Billion
Citigroup was one of the major U.S banks that was crippled during the 2008 financial crisis. The bank suffered huge losses and had to be bailed out by the U.S government. This essentially meant that the banks debts became our debts (the U.S government used tax payers money to bail out the banks) and now Citigroup has huge profit margins again whilst the tax payer is none the better off.
8. Banco Santander (Santander Group)Profits: £4.9 Billion
Banco Santander is a Spanish bank and the Santander Group is the largest bank in the euro zone by market value. UK based bank and building society Abbey National was one of many subsidiaries that was re-branded under the Santander name. Santander actually profited from the 2008 financial crisis as it was able to purchase the 75% of Sovereign Bancorp that it did not own for a greatly reduced share price.
7. Commonwealth Bank Profits: £5.1 Billion
Commonwealth bank is an Australian Bank which was privatised by the Australian government in 1996. It has the largest profit margins of any Australian bank in 2015. However, there have been a multitude of controversies surrounding Commonwealth Bank; from profiting from activities destructive to the Great Barrier Reef to the dishonest concealment of material facts.
6. Royal Bank of Canada Profits: £5.3 Billion
The most profitable bank in Canada in 2015, the Royal Bank of Canada was founded in 1864. Like most banks it has had its fair share of controversies: In 2007 it was reported that the bank refused people of certain nationalities to open U.S. dollar accounts with the bank in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
5. HSBC Holdings Profits: £8.6 Billion
The British bank HSBC was first founded in 1865 in Hong Kong as the Shanghai and Hong Kong Bank. However, these days HSBC is known for all the wrong reasons. The bank has been littered with controversy in recent times, it is said to have taken an active part in many crimes such as money laundering, it has helped clients dodge billions of pounds in taxes and has supported criminals including Mexican drug cartels.
4. JPMorgan Chase Profits: £13.5 Billion
American bank JPMorgan Chase is currently the largest of the American banks with assets estimated at £1.6 trillion. The bank has come under scrutiny many times, one controversy involving the bank came in 2011 when JPMorgan Chase admitted that it wrongly charged several thousand military families for their mortgages, including active duty personnel in Afghanistan.
3. Wells Fargo Profits: £14.7 Billion
Wells Fargo is America’s biggest bank by profit margins in 2015. Wells Fargo, along with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America make up America’s ‘Big Four Banks”. During the 2008 financial crisis the U.S. government bailed out Wells Fargo to the tune of over £25 billion.
2. Bank of China Profits: £17.6 Billion
As the name suggests, Bank of China is a state owned Chinese Bank and is the oldest bank in mainland China that is still in existence.
1. ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) Profits: £28.6 Billion
The bank with easily the largest profit margins of 2015, Chinese bank ICBC is the largest bank in the world in terms of total assets and market capitilisation.
Well there we have it, the 10 banks with the biggest profits in 2015. We here at Politics Bulletin believe that knowledge is power so we will leave you with two notable quotations surrounding banks.
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” —Henry Ford
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” –Thomas Jefferson