UK banks fall further behind global rivals

Tim Wallace
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BRITAIN’S biggest lenders are missing out on a global recovery in the sector, with weak profits and poor growth, according to an annual study out today from The Banker magazine.

UK banks account for just 2.37 per cent of global profits, down from 11 per cent before the crisis.

China leads by profits with 31.78 per cent of the global total, well ahead of the US’s 19.9 per cent and Japan’s 6.97 per cent.

Britain’s profits are barely half even of France’s and Australia’s, both of whom have 4.2 per cent.

And the UK is missing out on a resurgence in the sector – global profits jumped 20 per cent last year.

By scale British banks are also losing out. HSBC topped the rankings as the world’s biggest bank by tier one capital in 2008, but has now fallen to fifth place.

It is the only British bank in the top 10 – RBS used to be in third place but has dropped to 15th.

Barclays is Britain’s second biggest bank, and the world’s 12th.

China’s ICBC holds onto the number one slot as the biggest by capital, with the China Construction Bank climbing from fifth place to second.

The Bank of China is up from ninth to seventh, and the Agricultural Bank of China from 10th to ninth.

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