Chinese big state-owned banks are the world’s leading lenders according to a new industry list released by financial trade publication The Banker.
According to The Banker’s 2018 Top 1000 ranking China’s top four banks are also the world’s top four banks in terms of Tier 1 Capital.
Chinese banks grew their Tier 1 capital by $336 billion in 2017 for a 20% increase, while Industrial and Commercial Bank alone expanded its capital by $43 billion, an amount in and of itself commensurate in size with leading international banks such as Standard Chartered or UBS.
While China’s economy continues to suffer from high leverage and a bloated shadow banking sector, The Banker points out that the Chinese financial system has become sturdier after posting 15% growth in banking assets as compared to a 20% rise in capital.
Chinese banks earned $321 billion in 2017, for a 10% increase compared to 2016, accounting for nearly 29% of global profits in the sector.
The world’s three most profitable lenders are all Chinese banks, led by Industrial and Commercial Bank, with $56 billion in pre-tax earnings, followed by China Construction Bank ($46 billion) and Agricultural Bank of China ($37 billion).
JP Morgan is fourth on the list of the world’s most profitable banks, with pre-tax earnings of $36 billion.