How global are US banks?
The USA is the world’s leading nation with respect to the financial position and value. The assets and the total financial worth of the country surpass all others with a massive margin. The presence of the USA on an international scale is undeniable. When we talk about the financial fundamentality of the USA, the main point of discussion is the banks of the USA.
The international banks of the USA are listed in the best global banking groups. Quite a few names of the American institutions have managed to appear as the most quintessential and providing banks in the whole world. Now, instead of looking at US banks as a general term, it is better that we know the names and identities of the actual banks.
Where are US banks?
I will give the answer to this question in both detail and summation. In summation, we can simply say that the US banks like the JPMorgan, which we will learn about below, provides its services in more than 100 countries. If we take that as a standard, we can imagine what sort of coverage the US has in the financial area.
When it comes to detail, we have to first learn about the Big Four: the four major banks in the USA. Commencing now will be a brief yet detailed account of each of these four banks. An individual understanding will help us see the bigger picture and the collective presence of US banks on a global level.
International Banks of the USA
The most recognized and reputable banking systems in the USA include the following:
According to most opinions, this bank is the best bank in the whole world. With net assets of approximately $2.49 trillion, this bank sets the bar for the most expansive banking group of the whole world. This bank operates in more than 100 countries worldwide. This coverage is extraordinary, even in the international banking standards.
Starting out as a mere national bank, this bank took a turn for the high stakes in 2000. Firstly, it was recognized just as Chase bank, an average corporation working out of Manhattan, New York. The global firm made its appearance due to the merger of the Chase Bank and JPMorgan and Co.
After the bank acquired the funds from The Washington Mutual, the bank started functioning and was later included in the Big Four Banks of America. Afterward, the bank started its climb to the stage where we can see it today.
Now, coming to the topic at hand, how global is this bank? Along with providing excellent services and conveniences in the country, it provides services to more than 100 countries worldwide. Considering there are 198 countries in the world, we can say that JPMorgan Chase Bank serves in more than 50% of the entire world.
Another one of the major names in international finance, Wells Fargo is a bank which represents the USA on an international scale. Its journey to the top of the list was hindered by the scandal created in 2016. This hurdle made it fall behind a few of the other banks in the running. The banks that surpass Wells Fargo are none other than the JPMorgan Chase Bank and the Bank of America.
Wells Fargo has numerous branches located inside the USA. These branches provide financial services to local clients and businessmen. Other than that, Wells Fargo and Company has offices and correspondents all over the world. They are located in the major countries of the world like the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, China, India, Australia, and South Africa etcetera.
There are a lot of other smaller countries as well but these are the ones we can count as the most lucrative. Wells Fargo’s placement as the best bank is hampered by the actions of the US Government and some unfortunate incidents. We can see the potential by the fact that it has been ranked the best regarding the market capitalization.
The Bank of America Company is also one of the Big Four banks of America. Specifically hailed as an investment bank, Bank of America provides commercial banking, personal banking as well as investment services to its clients. Speaking of clients, there is a variety there as well. This is because, like the other Big Four, BofA also entertains a local and international clientele.
The Bank of America is bested only by the JPMorgan Chase Bank in the ranking. It holds an impressive amount of deposits from the American banks (around 10% of the net deposits). Like the other Big Four, it operates on an international scale, with branches and offices in all continents. After electing the leading nations in each country, the Bank of America established offices and branches.
The Bank of America is located in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Canada, and Africa etcetera. It has fewer branches worldwide then JPMorgan. But it still has enough to provide its international coverage.
We have all been appreciating the presence of JPMorgan in more than 100 countries. That is very impressive and hearing this makes us raise our eyebrows and nod appreciatively. But let us take a look at what Citibank has to offer.
Citibank offers its services in more than 160 countries worldwide. Though the physical presence of the bank branches is not established in all of them, the services they provide are still there. Found in 1812, this bank was first operating as a national bank with the name of City Bank of New York. Later it advanced and eventually made its way to its current state.
Though this group suffered some financial blows in the past, it maintained its place in the top four banks of the USA. Like Wells Fargo, it has been trailing behind Bank of America and JPMorgan in the ranking.
How global are US banks? – The international presence of US banks
Now we have learned about the four big international banks in the USA. But let us review the information at hand. By doing this, we can establish the international presence of US banks in the world.
Let us first see the bank with the widest coverage and that is Citibank. Although the physical branches and offices are the same as JPMorgan, it has used technology to make its services available in more countries. Seeing this, we can hardly say that there are any countries where US banks don’t have any branches. The ones that are left by one bank are covered by the other.
This way, a collective structure of US banks has been formed around the globe. Here, we will discuss the countries where the US banks are in a noticeable amount and form. We will do this by looking at the continents separately.
Europe has the densest and most saturated presence of US banks. This is so because, among all the continents, Europe is the one where the most First-World countries are located. Countries like Germany, France and the United Kingdom etcetera. Even other slightly less-developed countries hold a place in the supported countries.
There are a lot of other banks in Europe that are listed in top international banks. An example of this is the BNP Paribas, the French international bank. The purpose of this point is to highlight the fact that, since there are other major banks in Europe, it is a hub of financial activity and global marketing.
We cannot specifically list the countries in Europe that have branches of US banks but we can say that almost all countries in Europe have an office or branch of at least one global US bank.
Asia also consists of countries where US banks are present. But the amount is less than that of Europe because there are several developing countries there. But the magnitude of those countries that do have US banks makes it an even match with the European countries. I am, of course, talking about China and India.
Both of these countries are extremely large in size and area. Their combined population goes up to 2.7 billion people. Seeing as there are only 7.8 billion people in the whole world, these figures are staggering. Both these countries have a suitable number of US banks in them. Banks like Citibank and JPMorgan have a remarkable presence in other countries as well.
There are several other countries like Bangladesh which also have US banks operating in them. We can say easily that Asia is quite rich with US banks.
North and South America hold a higher priority with respect to the locations of US banks in the world. Being relatively closer to the USA, these countries are faced with ease and convenience not known to the far-flung nations. In North America, we have the USA and Canada. Both of these countries make use of their geography to benefit more.
Canada has quite a few offices and branches of major US banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and the Bank of America. The lower area consisting of Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico etcetera also has good correspondence and relations with the US international banks.
When it comes to Africa, the most notable region that consists of US banks is South Africa. There are other countries as well but that is the most focused part. Citibank and JPMorgan have offices there although the same cannot be said for the others.
Australia is considered one of the major countries in the world and therefore, the US banks targeted it as their anchor in the far side of the world. Having a connection in the Down Under has increased the business span of these financial institutions. JPMorgan and the Bank of America are operative in Australia.
Countries that don’t have any US banks
Now, this matter is of a somewhat sensitive nature. We cannot say for sure which countries don’t have any US banks. We cannot establish this without the danger of treading on something false. Instead, what we can say here is that there are some countries that don’t have a central bank. This will help us get an idea.
What are the central banks? A central bank is a bank that is characteristic of a country. The central bank regulates and manages the monetary impositions of the country. This bank is responsible for the circulation of financial assets in the country. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank or the State Bank of Pakistan etcetera.
There are some countries in the world where there is no central bank. This means that these countries don’t have their own currency and instead rely on other currencies. Following are some of the countries that belong in this faction:
Located in Europe, this tiny country has a population of just around 77,000 people. This country does not have its own central bank. As a result, it doesn’t have its own currency. However, after an agreement in 2011, it does use the Euro as its currency. Relying mostly on tourism, the economy of this little country thrives on and on.
Located close to Ireland, this small country has a population of around 85,000 people. This country is a British Crown Dependency. The British are responsible for the defense of this country. The Isle of Man is also one of the countries where there is no central bank and all business is carried out by other financial institutions.
With a population of just 110,000 people, this country is also a country without a central bank. The currency used is the Kiribati dollar. Located in the Pacific Ocean, this country is comprised of atolls and small islands.
Like Andorra, Monaco is a small country located in Europe. The population of Monaco is around 38,000. The only place that stops Monaco from being the smallest country in the world is the Vatican. The currency used in Monaco is the Euro. However, like Andorra, it is not a part of the European Union; it just uses the currency.
How global are US banks? – US presence in major countries
As we discussed earlier, there are some countries that have a denser amount of US banks than most. Here we will discuss three of these countries in detail and see their financial relation and dynamic with the USA.
Israel has grown rapidly and the amount of modernization it has gone through is extraordinary. The country is small but it has been made the hub of most global activity in Asia. Tel Aviv, as we learned before, is the fifth most technologically advanced city in the world. Due to this, the US presence in this country is remarkable.
Israel has some international bank branches situated inside it. However, there are only four foreign banks in Israel with a full banking license (for the Banks and Branches in Israel see here: israelbanks.co.il). Along with Barclays Bank, HSBC and the State Bank of India, one US bank is also located there. That is Citibank. As I said before, the coverage of the US banks in the world is somewhat divided. Some countries have JPMorgan Chase bank branches and some have Wells Fargo branches.
Similarly, in Israel, only Citibank has managed to find a spot. The global banking groups there provide local and personal banking services as well as investments to firms and businessmen.
Predictably, Citibank left behind every other financial institution in Israel. Undeniably ranked as the largest rendition of any foreign financial institution there is, Citibank provides an exclusive range of personal banking services to high-net-worth people in Israel. It also has the trust of major Israeli corporations and companies.
Israel has a deep and healthy relationship with the USA. There are only four international banks in the whole country and one of them is a US bank. This shows the exclusivity and specialty of the USA in the affairs of Israel.
In the whole wide world, there are a lot of advanced countries. Each country has its identity and its own recognition. When it comes to the banking world, Switzerland takes the lead without any question. Often portrayed as a solid and reliable way of storing money, this country holds the record as holder the most off-shore private accounts.
Switzerland has a lot of international banks. These include banks headquartered in many countries, not only the USA. But being called the leader of the banking world requires more than just having the presence of other banks. Switzerland has its own top-notch banks, operating domestically as well as internationally. You can find the list of the largest banks in Switzerland here on this blog: The 10 largest Swiss Banks according to their balance sheet totals.
Swiss bank accounts are hailed as being trustworthy, secure and safe throughout the world. Their clientele mostly consists of wealthy individuals and high-class corporations. But let us not stray from the topic at hand. The USA also has quite a few banks in Switzerland. These banks include:
- Citibank (two branches are operational)
- Merrill Lynch
- JPMorgan Chase bank
- Goldman Sachs
These banks are situated in Switzerland and we can see from the amount that the correspondence and financial relations between the two countries are quite strong. These banks use the popularity of Swiss banks to boost their own. Similarly, the name and reputation of the US banks complement the already remarkable reputation of Switzerland.
Another major country in Asia that has strong ties with the banking businesses in the USA is India. India has a place in the world’s frontrunners with respect to the banking business. Not only does India host several global banks but it also has some similar systems of its own. The State Bank of India is operational in many countries like Israel (as we saw before).
There are several branches of US banks in India, namely cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai etcetera. Most of the USA’s Big Four are present in India and they have several businesses and corporations relying on them. Other than providing personal and commercial banking options, these banks are also the providers of investments.
The Bank of America is operational in only 35 countries and India is one of them. And even in India, the Bank of America has multiple branches. In most countries, international banks are represented only by one big branch or office. In India, however, the Bank of America has 5 branches.
Other than that, Citibank also has a noticeable presence in the country. A nice fact about this is that the Bank of America in India was made even before the partition. However, the bank was greeted with great enthusiasm, and thus, a more attentive provision of services was elicited.
JPMorgan Chase Bank has also made offices in India. The local businesses have benefited from the presence of these international companies.
These three countries are prime examples of nations where US banks have made a home for themselves. Located all around the world, the coverage and presence of US banks provide it a splendid edge and monopoly in the banking business. In Europe, the USA has made its banks available in a considerable number.
In Asia, we have the examples of India and Israel. Before that, we also saw that China also has branches of US banks. We can observe here that the USA has made itself available around the globe by targeting major countries. There are some countries that are not so lucky but still, it is quite impressive if we think about how everything is operated on a daily basis.
So, now let us ask the question that we asked ourselves before all this: How global are US banks? Well, after learning so much, we can safely say that US banks are as global as they come. The major banks cover so many countries and provide so many services. If we were to name a US bank anywhere in the world, we would hear praise and commendations.
I hope that my musings on US banks here on TheBankerBlog are somewhat useful for you. Let me know what you think in the comments section.