Top German Banks

Top Banks in Austria, Germany, Switzerland

With all the financial turmoil in recent months and years, it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with the rankings of the world’s banks. Big European and German banks have not been immune to the world credit crisis precipitated by the 2007 US mortgage disaster. Some once highly ranked German banks no longer exist! And everyone has been discovering how closely intertwined the US, European, Asian, and other world financial institutions really are.

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The recent financial turmoil throughout the world did not spare Germany. Our German bank rankings were postponed in anticipation of more calm conditions. We have now resumed our annual rankings. Many banks, including several in Germany, did not survive the crisis that began in 2007.

Today, Deutsche Bank is by far the biggest German bank, with assets of US$2.655 trillion (2013). The second-ranked German bank, Commerzbank, has assets that are less than a third of those of Deutsche Bank. But with all the economic turmoil in the world these days, such rankings can change within just months.

In May 2013 Deutsche Bank was number one in the world, based on total assets (US$2.655 trillion). But in 2012 it ranked third in the world, with only China’s ICBC bank (No. 1) and the UK’s HSBC bank (No. 2) placing higher. Its gain in rank came from a drop in the assets of some other banks, more than an increase in Deutsche Bank’s own assets.

German Banks and Financial Institutions: 2012

The top 15 financial institutions in GERMANY
Ranked by total assets (June 2012), with headquarters city, assets in euros:

  1. Deutsche Bank* (Frankfurt a.M., 2.24 trillion)
  2. Commerzbank (Frankfurt a.M., 673 billion)
  3. Kfw Bankgruppe (Frankfurt a.M., 516 billion)
  4. DZ Bank (Frankfurt a.M., 406 billion)
  5. HVB Group (HypoVereinsbank)** (Munich, 392 billion)
  6. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart, 373 billion)
  7. BayernLB (Munich, 307 billion)
  8. Nord/LB (Norddeutsche Landesbank) (Hanover, 229 billion)
  9. Postbank AG* (Bonn, 196 billion)
  10. Hypo Real Estate Group (HRE Group) (Unterschleißheim, 190 billion)
  11. Eurohypo AG (Eschborn, 189 billion)
  12. Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) (Frankfurt a.M., 166 billion)
  13. HSH Nordbank (Hamburg/Kiel, 138 billion)
  14. Landesbank Berlin (LBB) (Berlin, 131 billion)
  15. WGZ Bank (Westdeutsche Genossenschafts-Zentralbank) (Düsseldorf, 96 billion)

*Bonn-based Postbank AG is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
**UniCredit Bank AG, based in Munich, operates under the HypoVereinsbank brand.
SOURCES: Bankenverband (German Federal Association of German Banks) and relbanks.com.

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German Banks and World Banks

Other than Deutsche Bank, there are no German banks in the world top 20. The Swiss bank UBS comes in at 19th place (assets of US$1.375 trillion), just behind 18th-ranked Bank of America (US$1.474 trillion). Commerzbank ranks 37th in the world, with assets of US$839 billion (all 2013).

NOTE: Comparisons of world banks are made more difficult by differences in accounting standards. The figures below have been adjusted as much as possible for these variations. Bank rankings also change greatly when using market capitalization rather than total assets. Using market capitalization, the two biggest banks in the world are Chinese: ICBC and China Construction Bank. (Source: relbanks.com, 2013 data)

World Banks: May 2013

The top 20 financial institutions in the world
Ranked by total assets, with country, assets in US dollars:

  1. Deutsche Bank AG (Germany, 2.655 trillion)
  2. BNP Paribas SA (France, 2.517 trillion)
  3. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (China, 2.458 trillion)
  4. Crédit Agricole SA (France, 2.431 trillion)
  5. Barclays Bank PLC (United Kingdom, 2.420 trillion)
  6. Japan Post Bank Co. (Japan, 2.362 trillion)
  7. China Construction Bank Corp. (China, 2.242 trillion)
  8. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (China, 2.125 trillion)
  9. RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) (United Kingdom, 2.084 trillion)
  10. Bank of China Limited (China, 2.034 trillion)
  11. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (Japan, 1.948 trillion)
  12. JPMorgan Chase Bank (USA, 1.896 trillion)
  13. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (Japan, 1.668 trillion)
  14. Société Générale (France, 1.650 trillion)
  15. Banco Santander SA (Spain, 1.621 trillion)
  16. Lloyds TSB Bank (United Kingdom, 1.530 trillion)
  17. BPCE (France, 1.514 trillion)
  18. Bank of America NA (USA, 1.474 trillion)
  19. UBS (Switzerland, 1.375 trillion)
  20. HSBC Bank (United Kingdom, 1.323 trillion)

SOURCE: BANKERSAccuity