HSBC overtakes Deutsche to be the largest bank in Europe

Michael Bow
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UK BANKING giant HSBC has leapt ahead of German rival Deutsche Bank to top a list of Europe’s biggest banking institutions.

The Canary Wharf-based company rose from third to first, knocking Deutsche off its perch into second and pushing French bank BNP Paribas from second to fourth spot in this year’s SNL poll.

Four of the banks in the top ten come from the UK, including Barclays and taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.

Lenders across Europe have tried to trim their balance sheets in response to increasing political and regulatory pressure yet three banks have topped the €2 trillion asset mark this year, up from just one a year ago.

HSBC’s assets tipped the scales at €2.041 trillion, despite the disposal of several assets including its holding in Asian insurer Ping An and other insurance interests in emerging markets.

Deutsche weighted in with €2.022 trillion and third place went to Credit Agricole with €2.008 trillion.

Several banks have shrunk in size, including ING which contracted 13 per cent, Credit Suisse, which posted an 11.3 per cent reduction in assets, and UBS becoming 10.6 per cent smaller this year.

The fastest growing bank on the list was Russia’s Sberbank, which climbed nine places in the list with year-over-year asset growth of 44 per cent.

SNL’s top 50 big bank list ranks institutions on total assets at 31 December every year.
In the US, JP Morgan tops the list with Bank of America in second spot.