World’s 10 biggest banks

March 27, 2008

UBS AG , Zurich, Switzerland

UBS AG is the world’s biggest manager of other people’s money. The bank’s asset stood at $1,963.227 billion as in January 2008.

Present in major financial centres worldwide, UBS has offices in 50 countries. The bank had 81,557 employees on June 30, 2007. It originated in 1747, with its maiden branch coming up in the Swiss region of Valposchiavo.

The new UBS evolved out of a merger of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation in June 1998. The merged bank’s new name was originally supposed to be the United Bank of Switzerland. But it had to be named UBS as the proposed name clashed with United Bank SwitzerlandBarclays PLC is a major bank operating in Europe, the United States, West Asia, Latin America, Australia, Asia and Africa. It operates through its subsidiary Barclays Bank PLC.

The bank has registered assets worth $1,951.041 billion. It is also the sponsor of the English Premier League. Forbes Global 2000 ranked Barclays PLC as the 18th largest company in the world in 2007.

The bank’s roots can be traced back to 1690 in London. It borrowed its name from Alexander and David Barclay, who provided credit to slave traders. The bank is headed by Marcus Agius, the group chairman.

BNP Paribas is a major European bank. It was created on May 23, 2000 through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris and Paribas. As on January 31, the bank’s assets stood at $1,899.186 billion.

It’s history can be traced back to 1869, when a group of bankers and investors, including Adrien Delahante, Edmond Joubert and Henri Cernuschi, founded the Banque de Paris.

The bank employs 162,700 people and operates in 87 countries. The bank is active in the finance, investment and asset management markets.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Edinburgh, UK, is the largest banking group in Scotland and the fifth largest in the world by market capitalisation. As on January 31, the bank’s assets stood at $1,705.680 billion.

The bank originated from the Equivalent Society set up by investors in the bankrupt Company of Scotland. The Society was formed to protect the compensation the investors received as part of the arrangements of the 1707 Acts of Union.

Credit Agricole SA is the largest retail banking group in France and the eighth largest in the world, according to The Banker magazine. On January 31, the bank’s assets stood at $1,663.101 billion

Through its subsidiaries, Credit Agricole SA is involved in the following services:

  • Retail banking
  • International retail banking
  • Specialised financial services
  • Asset management, insurance and private banking
  • Corporate and investment Banking
  • Deutsche Bank AG is headquartered in Frankfurt. It employs more than 78,000 people in 76 countries. As on January 31, the bank’s asset stood at $1,485.008 billion.

    Deutsche Bank was founded in Germany in 1870 as a bank for foreign trade in Berlin by private banker Adelbert Delbruck and politician Ludwig Bamberger. Its chief executive officer today is Dr Josef Ackermann.The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd came into being with the merger of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Limited and UFJ Bank Limited. As on January 31, the bank’s assets stood at $1,362.598 billion.

    The bank, through its several subsidiaries, performs the following activities: commercial banking, trust banking, securities dealing, leasing, venture capital deals, factoring, research and consulting, securities custody service, etc.

    ABN AMRO Holding NV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, evolved from the amalgamation of AMRO and ABN. As on January 31, the bank’s assets stood at $1,301.508 billion.

    The bank created history when the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Fortis and Banco Santander announced on October 8, 2007, that an offer for 86 per cent of outstanding ABN AMRO stock had been accepted. This made way for the largest ever bank takeover in history. On November 1 2007, an extraordinary shareholder meeting changed the bank’s management.

    Societe Generale, one of the oldest banks in France, is also one of the main European financial services companies. As on January 31, 2008, its assets stood at $1,261.657 billion.

    It is headquartered in France with the main head office in Tours Societe Generale in the business district of La Defense west of Paris.

    Bank of America was formed after the consolidation of quite a few historical banks, the most prominent of those being the Bank of Italy. On January 31, the bank’s assets stood at $1,196.124 billion.

    In 1958, the bank introduced the BankAmericard, which changed its name to VISA in 1977. A consortium of other California banks came up with Master Charge (now MasterCard).

    Source: Rediff