Top German and World Banks

Top World BanksAustria, Germany, Switzerland

With all the financial turmoil in recent 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 and the later Greek euro emergencies. Some once highly ranked German banks no longer exist (e.g., Dresdner Bank). The world has been discovering how closely intertwined the US, European, Asian, and other world financial institutions really are.

Austrian Bankomat screen

An Austrian “Bankomat” ATM screen with multilingual instructions.
PHOTO: Hyde Flippo

Deutsche Bank today remains by far the largest German bank, with assets of 1.7 trillion euros in April 2016. The second-ranked German bank, Commerzbank, has assets that are about a third of those of Deutsche Bank. But with all the economic turmoil in the world these days, such rankings can change quickly.


At one time, Deutsche Bank was number one in the world, based on total assets. By 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. Four years later, as of April 2016, Deutsche Bank had dropped to number seven in the world by total assets. The top four banks in the world are Chinese. Number five is the French bank BNP Parabas SA. Number six, just above Deutsche, is the American JPMorgan Chase Bank. Swiss banks have also had their own problems. UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, dropped to 27th in the world, and is no longer included in our list of the world’s top 25 banks below.

Please note that there are several ways to rank banks. The lists below rank by total assets (Bilanzsumme in German). We have also provided web links below to lists that rank world banks by market capitalization rather than assets.

German Banks and Financial Institutions: 2015-2016

The top 10 financial institutions in GERMANY
Ranked by total assets (Sept. 2015), with headquarters city, assets in euros (EUR):

  1. Deutsche Bank (Frankfurt a.M., 1.7 trillion)
  2. Commerzbank (Frankfurt a.M., 563 billion)
  3. Kfw Bankgruppe (Frankfurt a.M., 499 billion)
  4. DZ Bank (Frankfurt a.M., 409 billion)
  5. HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Bank AG) (Munich, 308 billion)
  6. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (Stuttgart, 378 billion*)
  7. Bayrische Landesbank (BayernLB) (Munich, 221 billion)
  8. Norddeutsche Landesbank (Nord/LB) (Hanover, 189 billion)
  9. Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) (Frankfurt a.M., 178 billion)
  10. NRW.BANK (Düsseldorf and Münster, 144 billion**)

*June 2015 | **Dec. 2014 – Note: Germany’s Deutsche Postbank AG, with headquarters in Bonn, became a fully-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank in 2015.

Austrian Banks and Financial Institutions: 2015-2016
None of Austria’s banks and financial institutions is included in recent rankings of top 50 world banks. The five largest Austrian banks by assets are in the list below. After Austrian banks expanded into eastern Europe, they encountered problems during the 2007-2008 mortgage crisis. Over the years Austrian banks have been sold, dissolved, or merged with other institutions. Creditanstalt, once a leading Austrian bank, no longer exists. In 1997, the state-owned Creditanstalt shares were sold to Bank Austria, which was in turn taken over by Italy’s UniCredit Group in 2005.

The top 5 financial institutions in AUSTRIA
Ranked by total assets (2015), with headquarters city, assets in euros (EUR):

  1. Erste Group (Vienna, 206 billion)
  2. Bank Austria (UniCredit Bank Austria AG*) (Vienna, 191 billion)
  3. Raiffeisen Zentralank Österreich AG (RZB) (Vienna, 145 billion [2014])
  4. Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) (Vienna, 122 billion [2014])
  5. Volksbanken-Verbund (Vienna, 70 billion [2014])
  6. BAWAG P.S.K. (Vienna, 43 billion)

*Bank Austria is 96.35% owned by Italy’s UniCredit Group (since 2005).

Swiss Banks and Financial Institutions: 2015-2016
Switzerland’s two top banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, are among the world’s top 50 banks.

The top 5 financial institutions in SWITZERLAND
Ranked by total assets (2015), with headquarters city, assets in Swiss francs (CHF):

  1. UBS AG (Zurich, 943 billion) – 2016 World rank: 27
  2. Credit Suisse (Zurich, 873 billion [2013]) – 2016 World rank: 29
  3. Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) (Zurich, 157 billion [2014])
  4. Julius Baer Group (Zurich, 73 billion [2013])
  5. Banque cantonale de Genève (BCGE) (Geneva, 17.5 billion [2014])
  6. Vontobel (Zurich, 17.3 billion)

Top World Banks: April 2016
The world’s largest banks ranked by total assets.

The top 25 financial institutions in the world
Ranked by total assets, with country, assets in US dollars (USD):
NOTE: Accounting methods affect the assets reported. The United States uses US GAAP (as opposed to IFRS), which only reports the net derivative position in most cases, leading to US banks on the list (Wells Fargo and Citibank) having a lower asset figure than comparable non-US banks.

  1. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (China, 3.32 trillion)
  2. China Construction Bank Corp. (China, 2.70 trillion)
  3. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (China, 2.57 trillion)
  4. Bank of China Limited (China, 2.46 trillion)
  5. BNP Paribas SA (France, 2.17 trillion)
  6. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (USA, 1.91 trillion)
  7. Deutsche Bank AG (Germany, 1.77 trillion)
  8. Japan Post Bank Co. (Japan, 1.73 trillion)
  9. China Development Bank Corp. (China, 1.73 trillion)
  10. Crédit Agricole SA (France, 1.66 trillion)
  11. Barclays Bank PLC (United Kingdom, 1.65 trillion)
  12. Bank of America NA (USA, 1.64 trillion)
  13. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) (United Kingdom, 1.63 trillion)
  14. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (Japan, 1.62 trillion)
  15. Wells Fargo Bank NA (USA, 1.61 trillion)
  16. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (Japan, 1.48 trillion)
  17. Banco Santander SA (Spain, 1.46 trillion)
  18. Société Générale (France, 1.45 trillion)
  19. Mizuho Banking Ltd. (Japan, 1.34 trillion)
  20. Citibank NA (USA, 1.30 trillion)
  21. BPCE (France, 1.27 trillion)
  22. Lloyds Bank Plc (United Kingdom, 1.21 trillion)
  23. HSBC Bank PLc (United Kingdom, 1.323 trillion)
  24. UniCredit SpA (Italy, 1.02 trillion)
  25. Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd (China, 1.01 trillion)

Source: Bank Rankings

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