"Too big to fail." It's been the battle cry of activists and politicians across the United States following the near collapse of the nation's financial sector in 2008. But how big are banks really?
Credio, a finance site that's part of the Graphiq network, pulled data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and analyzed which banks had the highest value of assets. The FDIC was created by Congress to monitor and ensure the stability of the country's financial system.
The top four banks on our list will undoubtedly be familiar to most readers. Outside that group, you may be surprised to see which financial institutions dominate the United States financial sector. Our list includes not only traditional banks, but brokerage companies, credit card lenders and even a former division of General Electric.
Combined, these institutions control over $10 trillion of the world's assets. The top five alone make up nearly half the U.S. financial sector.
Total Assets: $62,858,185,000
Total Deposits: $48,166,500,000
Total Loans: $47,947,287,000
Number of Branches: 3
Even with $63 billion in assets, Synchrony clocks in as the smallest bank on the list. Until 2014, the company operated as GE Capital Retail Finance Corporation. While it has billions in banking assets, Synchrony's bread and butter is actually private label credit cards, where it controls nearly half the market.
#29. Huntington National Bank
Total Assets: $70,879,778,000
Total Deposits: $56,357,600,000
Total Loans: $50,203,199,000
Number of Branches: 760
With a focus on the Midwest United States, Huntington National Bank has banking offices in seven states. It's primarily focused on the Ohio market where it has over 400 locations.
#28. USAA Federal Savings Bank
Total Assets: $71,130,930,000
Total Deposits: $63,451,100,000
Total Loans: $45,990,191,000
Number of Branches: 1
Also known as the United Services Automobile Association, USAA offers banking, investing, and insurance to U.S. military and their families. It was founded for this specific purpose, as traditional banks and insurance agencies formerly thought of members of the military as a high risk group, limiting options for soldiers.
Total Assets: $71,877,743,000
Total Deposits: $60,584,000,000
Total Loans: $48,494,816,000
Number of Branches: 476
Founded in Detroit, Comerica moved its headquarters to Dallas in 2006. It rose to prominence after its merger with Manufacturers National Corporation in 1992, nearly doubling the size of its business.
#26. Bank of the West
Total Assets: $75,743,098,000
Total Deposits: $54,153,100,000
Total Loans: $53,940,042,000
Number of Branches: 570
As its name implies, Bank of the West focuses on the Midwest and Western United States. However, its focus has turned international in recent years. In 2006, it opened branches in Taiwan and Japan.
#25. Compass Bank
Total Assets: $85,426,845,000
Total Deposits: $66,265,800,000
Total Loans: $60,631,993,000
Number of Branches: 674
Also known as BBVA, Compass has over 700 branches with more than 11,000 employees. It primarily serves Southern and Western states such as Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas.
Total Assets: $85,747,508,000
Total Deposits: $49,746,000,000
Total Loans: $70,512,438,000
Number of Branches: 2
Another credit card issuer, Discover actually only has two physical banking branches. It's the third largest credit card brand in the U.S., with over 60 million cardholders.
#23. Santander Bank
Total Assets: $90,192,245,000
Total Deposits: $59,328,500,000
Total Loans: $53,086,876,000
Number of Branches: 680
Formerly known as Sovereign Bank, Santander Bank is fully owned by the Spanish Santander Group. It changed its name to help its parent company create a global brand. It now operates 680 branches.
Total Assets: $93,038,275,000
Total Deposits: $73,730,900,000
Total Loans: $61,485,088,000
Number of Branches: 1,002
Keybank is headquartered in Ohio and is the only major bank based in Cleveland.
#21. Capital One 360
Total Assets: $102,172,065,000
Total Deposits: $62,010,800,000
Total Loans: $75,620,054,000
Number of Branches: 1
This probably isn't the Capital One you're most familiar with (you'll see that one later on this list). Capital One 360 actually runs the online banking division of Capital One. The business originates from ING Direct, one of the first major attempts at a branchless bank. Following a merger, ING Direct was renamed Capital One 360.
#20. BMO Harris Bank
Total Assets: $104,121,677,000
Total Deposits: $82,075,600,000
Total Loans: $63,635,851,000
Number of Branches: 632
BMO Harris is a subsidiary of the Canadian Bank of Montreal, commonly referred to as BMO. In 2015, the company acquired General Electric's transportation finance business, diversifying its revenue base away from traditional banking services.
#19. RBS Citizens
Total Assets: $108,064,717,000
Total Deposits: $77,576,100,000
Total Loans: $78,704,151,000
Number of Branches: 851
RBS Citizens is wholly-owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Headquartered in Rhode Island, the company has a strong foothold across the New England region. One of its more unique strategies involves its agreements with several supermarket chains to locate small bank branches inside stores.
#18. Ally Bank
Total Assets: $111,306,727,000
Total Deposits: $66,349,200,000
Total Loans: $81,743,614,000
Number of Branches: 1
Formerly GMAC Bank (General Motors lending arm), Ally has no branches, opting to become one of the first completely online banks. It's still heavily involved in the U.S. auto loan industry, but has turned its focus to becoming a full-service banking provider.
#17. Union Bank
Total Assets: $115,383,696,000
Total Deposits: $84,955,700,000
Total Loans: $76,794,384,000
Number of Branches: 384
Union Bank is completely owned by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ which has $2.3 trillion in assets. It operates mainly in metropolitan areas such as Dallas, Houston, New York City and Chicago.
#16. Northern Trust
Total Assets: $116,390,764,000
Total Deposits: $97,630,800,000
Total Loans: $32,987,036,000
Number of Branches: 65
While Northern Trust has a sizable banking arm, it also holds over $6.0 trillion in assets under custody. This amount doesn't count towards its own asset base because the bank is merely safekeeping these securities (such as stocks, bonds, commodities) for customers. It also runs a wealth management division that controls nearly $1 trillion in customer assets.
#15. Manufacturers and Traders Trust
Total Assets: $122,099,687,000
Total Deposits: $93,096,700,000
Total Loans: $86,175,062,000
Number of Branches: 711
Better known as M&T Bank, the company is headquartered in Upstate New York where it operates hundreds of branches. Since 2000, the company's stock has nearly tripled, likely pleasing its largest shareholder, Warren Buffett.
#14. Regions Bank
Total Assets: $125,121,263,000
Total Deposits: $99,490,100,000
Total Loans: $80,503,456,000
Number of Branches: 1,631
Regions is the only bank on this list headquartered in Alabama, where it's also the state's largest employer. In Alabama alone, it has $22.8 billion in deposits, 25.7 percent of all local savings. While it operates a 16-state network, Regions remains a household name in Birmingham.
#13. Fifth Third Bank
Total Assets: $138,620,635,000
Total Deposits: $107,491,000,000
Total Loans: $92,098,569,000
Number of Branches: 1,339
The company gets its name from the 1908 merger between Third National Bank and Fifth National Bank. As with most of its competitors, the bank came to prominence following years of acquisitions: Over the past decade, Fifth Third Bank has bought over a dozen companies.
#12. Charles Schwab
Total Assets: $139,069,000,000
Total Deposits: $129,564,000,000
Total Loans: $14,359,000,000
Number of Branches: 12
While it operates a large banking segment, Charles Schwab is better known for its investment brokerage business. Major competitors include E*Trade, Fidelity and Scottrade. The company made $1.56 billion in profit last year.
Total Assets: $183,138,215,000
Total Deposits: $135,398,000,000
Total Loans: $79,385,000,000
Number of Branches: 233
HSBC Bank USA is a subsidiary of London-based HSBC Holdings which actually has $2.67 trillion in assets. Over the past few years, the bank has received increasing amounts of scrutiny following its $1.9 billion fine for laundering nearly $900 million in drug cartel money and violating anti-terrorism sanctions.
Total Assets: $186,710,993,000
Total Deposits: $152,627,000,000
Total Loans: $136,665,956,000
Number of Branches: 1,471
SunTrust offers banking services to both consumers and businesses. Back in 1919, it helped take the Coca-Cola Company public. Today, two Coca-Cola executives still sit on SunTrust's board of directors.
#9. Branch Banking and Trust
Total Assets: $205,125,538,000
Total Deposits: $156,893,000,000
Total Loans: $132,375,881,000
Number of Branches: 1,903
You might know this bank better as BB&T. Founded in 1872, the company got its first break selling Liberty Bonds during the first World War, hitting $4 million in assets by 1923. Today, it has nearly 2,000 branches and $157 billion in deposits alone.
#8. TD Bank
Total Assets: $246,485,756,000
Total Deposits: $208,454,000,000
Total Loans: $125,238,046,000
Number of Branches: 1,326
TD Bank is the U.S. affiliate of Canada-based Toronto-Dominion Bank. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the bank has roughly 26,000 employees in over a dozen states.
#7. Capital One
Total Assets: $273,231,606,000
Total Deposits: $204,070,000,000
Total Loans: $150,637,015,000
Number of Branches: 840
More known for its credit cards, Capital One only has 840 banking locations. After its success as a mass credit card issuer, Capital One expanded into other banking services in the late 1990s, with traditional offerings like savings accounts, loans and insurance services. Still, its credit card business is so big that it was one of the first companies to negotiate a dedicated service agreement with the United States Postal Service.
#6. PNC Bank
Total Assets: $348,291,098,000
Total Deposits: $252,660,000,000
Total Loans: $205,451,512,000
Number of Branches: 2,777
At just No. 6 we're already down to "regional banks", institutions that only operate in a limited number states. PNC has branches in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Outside traditional banking services, the company is also the 13th largest issuer of Visa and MasterCard credit cards.
#5. US Bank
Total Assets: $417,458,234,000
Total Deposits: $310,443,000,000
Total Loans: $259,137,459,000
Number of Branches: 3,221
With only $417 billion assets, US Bank has 60 percent fewer employees than Citigroup, the next largest. As with the banks ahead of it however, US Bank has grown through acquisitions. Since 1988, it's combined with over 50 banking institutions.
Total Assets: $1,299,801,000,000
Total Deposits: $915,174,000,000
Total Loans: $576,107,000,000
Number of Branches: 808
Back in 2008, Citigroup was actually the largest bank in the U.S., with offices in 140 countries. By 2009, the government had taken a 36 percent stake in the company, lending it $45 billion. By 2014, Citigroup announced that it was leaving consumer banking in 11 markets. It still has roughly 170,000 employees (third overall), but assets have shrunk since the banks glory days, even after the U.S. government sold its stake.
#3. Wells Fargo
Total Assets: $1,610,580,000,000
Total Deposits: $1,258,630,000,000
Total Loans: $878,562,000,000
Number of Branches: 6,232
While it only comes in at third on the list, Wells Fargo actually has more U.S. branches than any other bank, with 6,232 locations. Buying up other big banks has proven critical to its growth. In 1998, the company merged with Norwest Company in a $34 billion deal, creating what was then the sixth largest U.S. bank. Following its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia - nearly doubling the bank's asset base - Wells Fargo officially reached the top three.
#2. Bank of America
Total Assets: $1,639,305,000,000
Total Deposits: $1,291,170,000,000
Total Loans: $867,765,000,000
Number of Branches: 4,861
With nearly 5,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs, Bank of America has a presence in every U.S. state. Roughly 10 percent of all deposits by Americans are held by the bank. The company's mammoth size largely stems from its $50 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch in 2008, the heart of the financial crisis. The two companies arranged the deal in less than 48 hours. Seven years later, Bank of America is now the second largest U.S. bank.
Total Assets: $1,914,658,000,000
Total Deposits: $1,312,940,000,000
Total Loans: $725,378,000,000
Number of Branches: 5,545
Headquartered in New York City, JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States and the world's sixth largest bank by total assets. Founded in 1799, the company has grown to over 235,000 employees. With such a size, JPMorgan Chase gets plenty of press, especially covering its well-known CEO, Jamie Dimon, who was paid $27 million last year. The company earned over $24 billion in 2015, so it didn't have much trouble affording him.