China and the US are the leaders of the banking world, with banks from these two countries dominating a list of the top 10 banks worldwide published today.
China's banks secured four out of the five top slots of the The Banker's 2016 Top 1,000 Banks list, with ICBC keeping hold of its number one slot from last year, with tier one capital of $274.4bn (£205.1bn). China Construction Bank and Bank of China also both feature highly on the list, taking the second and fourth place slots respectively.
The research also found that Chinese banks contribute nearly 32 per cent of worldwide profits, compared with the mere four per cent contributed back in 2006.
"For the last four years or so, the Chinese banks have really dominated and gone from strength to strength in the ranking, and this year is no exception to that," Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker, told City A.M.
US banks also performed well, taking home four out of the top 10 places. JP Morgan Chase was the highest scoring US bank on the list, with tier one capital of $200.5bn. Meanwhile, Bank of America grabbed the sixth place position, Citigroup came in seventh and Wells Fargo ranked eighth.
Caplen believes the US banks' ability to bounce back from the financial crisis quicker than their European counterparts has served them well.
"In Europe, particularly on the continent, there was a bit of not recognising the problem and just sort of sitting on it for a while," Caplen said.
China and the US also took first and second place respectively on a ranking of countries by banks' aggregate pre-tax profits.
Read more: Passporting: What you need to know
However, the research by The Banker warned that China's days as the top dog of banking could soon be numbered, as total profits for the country's banks dropped by 3.5 per cent, the first fall in profit since 2004.
Banks in the country are also increasingly struggling with bad loans, and Caplen pointed out that the banks have grown their capital faster than their assets, which often indicated "a sign of caution".
"There are a few small signs that maybe we've seen peak China," Caplen said.
UK banks performed poorly this year, with combined profits slumping 22 per cent and only HSBC managing to bag a top ten slot. In addition, the UK ranked only seventh on the table of most profitable countries.
However, two challenger banks – Metro and Sainsbury's Bank – managed to break their way into the top 1,000 for the first time.
German banks also did not perform well, with profits dropping 63 per cent, the fifth largest fall of any country worldwide. French banks fared better, with profits growing by 30 per cent.