The Largest 13 U.S. Banks by Market Capitalization

The four largest “Too Big To Fail(TBTF)” U.S. banks Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase(JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo(WFC) continue to remain as the largest banks in the country. These TBTF banks are also known as the superbanks.

From a November, 2009 article titled Too-Big-To-Fail and the Theory of Large Numbers  by Henry C.K. Liu:

“JP Morgan Chase is reportedly holding more than $1 of every $10 on deposit in the US. The four biggest super banks (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank) now issue one of every two mortgages and about two of every three credit cards in the US. Since the financial crisis, these four super banks are each allowed to hold more than 10% of the nation’s deposits, having been exempted from a longstanding rule barring such market dominance. In several metropolitan regions, these new super banks are now permitted to take market share beyond what the Department of Justice’s antitrust guidelines previously allowed.  Such concentration of market share will hurt consumers in two ways. It will keep cost of credit high to borrowers for lack of competition even when cost of fund for banks remains artificially low. It will also push bank reserves upward to force banks to pass on the cost to borrowers. The American banking system is now one of a handful of large global trading companies pretending to be banks, taking huge profit from high risk proprietary trades with government-backed money, instead of one of a network of small conservative local institutions serving their domicile communities merely as intermediaries of money through local deposits for nominal fees.

Sheila C. Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, described the TBTF problem as: “It fed the crisis, and it has gotten worse because of the crisis.”

The US financial system is looking more like a financial trust of a small number of super banks operating with deliberate moral hazard backed by ever ready government bailouts, while consumers are increasingly faced with fewer choices for financial services from competitive providers.”

The chart below shows the 13 Largest 13 U.S. Banks by Market Capitalization:

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The largest four also hold the largest bank deposits. The market cap of US bank (USB) is less than half of Citigroup, the fourth largest bank. The market cap of Bank of America is higher than all the non superbanks except U.S. Bank.

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