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The 10 Largest Banks in the World

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Chinese banks once again dominate the world’s largest banks by total assets in 2019, signaling continuing expansion in Asia, according to recently-released S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

S&P Global Market Intelligence releases its annual global bank rankings each year in April. The ten largest banks on the 2019 list barely changed from last year’s rankings.

China’s state-owned commercial banks, dubbed the “big four,” snagged the top four spots on the list, as they have since 2013, despite trade tensions with the United States amid a slowing domestic economy and weakening Yuan.

Two American banks made it into the top 10 list of the largest banks in the world. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America are ranking at number six and number eight, respectively. The remaining international banks on top 10 list of the largest banks are headquartered in Japan, France and the United Kingdom.

Large U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are not on the list because they are primarily investment banks. The S&P rankings are dominated by multinational retail banks that conduct business throughout the world and hold very large asset bases.

S&P’s Top 10 ranking of the largest banks in the world

RankBank nameTotal AssetsNationality
1Industrial & Commercial Bank of China$4.03 trillionChina
2China Construction Bank Corp.$3.38 trillionChina
3Agricultural Bank of China$3.29 trillionChina
4Bank of China$3.09 trillionChina
5Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group$2.81 trillionJapan
6JPMorgan Chase & Co.$2.62 trillionUnited States
7HSBC Holdings$2.65 trillionUnited Kingdom
8Bank of America$2.35 trillionUnited States
9BNP Paribas SA$2.34 trillionFrance
10Crédit Agricole Group$2.12 trillionFrance

S&P analyst Saqib Tariq Chaudhry told MagnifyMoney that the domination of China’s state-owned banks has to do with China’s economic model. According to Chaudhry, this model is driven by an industrial policy that relies heavily on lending in the past decade; financing is largely funneled from the government through banks to corporations.

By comparison, the 2007 top bank list was primarily dominated by European, Japanese and U.S. lenders, Chaudhry said.

“The changing asset sizes among these banks is partly a reflection of their respective countries’ economic growth,” Chaudhry said in an email response. “While China’s economy also slowed materially in the years since the [credit] crisis … its GDP growth never fell into negative territory and in every year grew at a pace well ahead that of the U.S., U.K. and the Eurozone.”

#1 Industrial & Commercial Bank of China

The largest global bank, ICBC, is also the largest bank in China, which has $4.03 trillion in total assets.

ICBC is one of the Big Four state-owned commercial banks in China. It provides corporate loans, trade financing, as well as wealth management services for businesses, government agencies and financial institutions. The bank also offers personal banking: it issues loans, credit and debit cards to individuals as well as offers deposits and personal wealth management.

#2 China Construction Bank Corp.

The world’s second-largest bank by asset is China Construction Bank Corp., another Chinese state-owned commercial bank. It has amassed $3.38 trillion in assets.

The bank has hundreds of millions of customers, offering both corporate and personal services like asset management, financing, life insurance, investment banking and pension plans. Some of its major clients are large state-owned enterprises in infrastructure sectors. It operates in 29 countries and regions, including the United States.

#3 Agricultural Bank of China

The Agricultural Bank of China ranks third with its $3.29 trillion worth of assets.

ABC provides both corporate and retail banking products and services internationally. Apart from its domestic businesses, ABC’s international arm conducts corporate and personal banking, as well as treasury operations and asset management in cities including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Dubai and New York.

#4 Bank of China

Another mega Chinese bank rises to the top of the global bank rankings is Bank of China. BOC has $3.09 trillion in total assets.

BOC is the most internationalized commercial bank in China. It provides a range of financial services from corporate banking, personal banking to financial markets services to customers across 52 countries and regions. This bank is also the oldest and largest Chinese bank in the U.S. — since 1981, BOC has been conducting businesses in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

#5 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is a Japanese bank holding and financial services company headquartered in Tokyo. MUFG holds assets of about $2.81 trillion, ranking the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets.

The Japanese bank, like others on the list, provides a wide range of financial services, including corporate banking, personal banking and asset management, to customers in more than 50 countries and regions.

#6 JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The largest American bank by assets, JPMorgan Chase & Co., ranks at No. 6 this year with $2.62 trillion in total assets.

JPMorgan Chase is a global leader in investment banking, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management, and provides financial services for consumers and small businesses.

The American banking giant would have ranked at No. 4, two slots higher, had it reported under a different accounting standard, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. JPMorgan’s current assets are reported under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the accounting standard adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Had it adopted the International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, the international accounting standards used by many other multinational banks, the value of JPMorgan’s derivatives would have been bigger, according to a press release from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

#7 HSBC Holdings (HSBC)

The seventh largest bank by total assets is HSBC, the British multinational banking giant. Its assets are $2.56 trillion.

As one of the world’s leading international banks, HSBC has operations in 66 countries and territories and serves over 39 million customers. The bank has personal, commercial banking, private and retail banking options, as well as wealth management. It also provides financial services and products to corporations, governments and institutions.

#8 Bank of America

The second American bank that made the top 10 list is Bank of America. Ranking at number eight, Bank of America has $2.35 in total assets and is the second largest bank in the U.S. by assets. Compared with the 2018 rankings, BOA moved a spot higher this year.

The Charlotte-based bank has about 66 million consumers and small business clients. It provides banking and financial services such as wealth management, corporate and investment banking for corporations, governments, institutions and individuals in roughly 35 countries.

#9 BNP Paribas SA

The French banking giant dropped a spot lower than last year on the 2019 S&P Global Market Intelligence list; BNP’s assets total $2.34 trillion.

BNP is a leading bank in the Eurozone and a prominent player globally. Retail banking and corporate and institutional banking are BNP’s two main business arms, and its individual clients number over 17 million. Its financial services, including securities services, financing, treasury and financial advisory, reached corporations and institutions in 56 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

#10 Crédit Agricole Group

Holding total assets of $2.12 trillion, Crédit Agricole Group another French banking juggernaut secured the 10th place among all the largest banks. Crédit Agricole Group is a retail bank. It has 51 million customers, including multinationals, associations, communities and individuals, across 47 different countries.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Shen Lu
Shen Lu |

Shen Lu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Shen Lu at [email protected]

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Banking

Should I Get a PayPal Credit Cash Advance?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

We’ve all been there. You need cash but your bank account is running low, so you take a cash advance from your credit card. Handled carefully, it can be a useful way to get through a rough patch in your financial life.

PayPal offers a digital credit line that includes a cash advance option, PayPal Credit, formerly known as “Bill Me Later.” This service allows users to send money to friends and family, buy things online, and stretch payments over time.

However, there’s a very important caveat with PayPal Credit’s cash advance feature: You cannot take out cash for yourself or advance money to your own account; you can only send money to friends and family. This is very different than the credit card cash advance features you may already be familiar with.

Is PayPal Credit cash advance a smart way to send money to friends and family? It really depends on your circumstances: PayPal Credit cash advance carries a relatively high APR, but it also offer a grace period for repayment, unlike credit card cash advances.

What is a PayPal Credit cash advance?

Issued by Synchrony Bank, PayPal Credit is a virtual line of credit that lets users make online purchases or send money to others. Keep in mind that PayPal Credit is different from a PayPal debit card or a PayPal credit card.

Applying is easy: Go to the PayPal Credit website, enter your date of birth, income after taxes, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once approved, you are issued at least $250 worth of credit. Approved users then get PayPal Credit as an option when they check out from online retailers who accept PayPal for payment.

For some online purchases of $99 or more, you have six months to pay off your PayPal Credit debt in full without accruing interest. If the balance is not paid in full within six months, interest will be charged to your account from the date you made the purchase, and interest will continue to be charged until the balance is paid off in full.

For PayPal Credit cash advances that are sent to friends and family, you have to pay off your balance in full each month by the payment due date to avoid interest charges. This is one of the biggest advantages of a PayPal Credit cash advance: Interest is deferred to the end of the monthly payment period. With credit card cash advances, generally interest begins accruing immediately, without any grace period.

Paypal Credit offers a single 26.24% APR for cash advances and regular purchases.

Pros and cons of Paypal Credit cash advance

There are advantages and disadvantages to PayPal Credit’s cash advance service, when compared to credit card cash advances.

Advantages of Paypal Credit cash advance

  • There is a grace period for interest charges: PayPal will not charge interest on cash advances or other transactions if you pay your debt in full by the monthly payment due date. The grace period goes up to 25 days. This is a better deal than credit cards, which generally begin charging interest as soon as you take out the cash advance.
  • The fee is not as high as credit card advances: When you use PayPal Credit to send money to friends and family, PayPal charges a 2.9% flat fee, plus $.30 per transaction. This is the same fee you pay when you use to send money through PayPal from your own debit or credit card. This fee is lower than what most credit card issuers charge for cash advances: typically 3% to 5% of the amount advanced, plus a $2 to $5 fee if you use an out-of-network ATM to withdraw the cash.

Disadvantages of Paypal Credit cash advance

  • You cannot advance money for yourself: PayPal Credit’s cash advance feature allows users to send money to friends or family; you cannot use this feature to send funds to yourself. When you advance cash on your credit card, you get money yourself and can use it immediately.
  • High APR: The average APR for credit cards is 86%. For regular credit cards, the APR you are charged for a cash advance is often 5% higher than the APR for a standard purchase. Adding the 5% additional APR for cash advances, it’s 21.86%, still 4 percentage points lower than the APR for a cash advance with PayPal Credit. you can probably get a better APR with a credit card, especially if you have good credit.

Alternatives to PayPal Credit cash advance

PayPal Credit may seem a good option when you need to send cash in a pinch. But whether it’s the best choice for you really depends on how much time you’ll take to pay it off. Here are some alternative options.

  • Borrow from friends and family. Borrowing cash from family and friends often comes with no interest rates or fees, making it much less expensive than a cash advance.
  • Use your credit card. If you need to buy things, use your credit card to pay for the purchases, if it has a lower APR. Even better, consider getting a credit card with no cash advance fee.
  • Transfer a balance to a credit card that offers an initial 0% APR. Consider getting a credit card with a 0% APR intro period and transferring to it the balance from a credit card cash advance. You will have already paid the cash advance fee on one card, and may still have to pay a balance transfer fee, but even together this figure may be lower than the cash advance APR. Plus, you’ll be buying time to pay off the balance.

The bottom line

If you don’t have cash available in your virtual wallets or debit cards, PayPal Credit can be a convenient way to get cash fast to your friends and family, but it comes with fees and doesn’t allow you to advance cash to yourself. You’ll also need to be careful and make sure pay off your balance on time to avoid a hefty interest charge.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Shen Lu
Shen Lu |

Shen Lu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Shen Lu at [email protected]

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Banking

How to Wire Money Safely

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

If you’ve ever had to wire money, you’re probably familiar with the jittery feeling: What if the money goes to the wrong person? What if someone steals my financial information? After all, a wire transfer occurs without physical contact between you and the recipient, and the transaction is irreversible.

Your concern is not groundless. Wire transfers are a fast, easy way to move money among individuals and businesses. But because of their speedy transaction times, they are also susceptible to fraud.

How do you wire money?

First, it’s important to know what a wire transfer is, how it works, and how it’s different from other types of electronic transfers.

A wire transfer is a direct, digital money transfer between two bank accounts, which does not need to be cleared by a third party. Because wire transfers are direct bank-to-bank transactions, they are faster than automated clearing house (ACH) transfers. Domestic wire transfers can be completed in as soon as one to two business days. But because they are faster, wire transfers are also more expensive than ACH transfers, which are usually free. Wire transfer fees vary by financial institution. The average fee for sending money via wire transfer ranges from $20 to $35, and for receiving money, the fee ranges from $10 to $20. You can also wire cash from alternative providers like Western Union and MoneyGram.

ACH transfers occur between financial institutions, and are conducted through a third-party clearinghouse. The banking system has utilized the ACH transfer method for more than four decades. Many forms of direct deposits and payments that you are familiar with — such as direct deposit paychecks sent by your employer and tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service — are made through ACH.

What information is required to wire money?

To set up a wire transfer at a bank, you will need to provide the recipient’s personal and bank account information:

  • Name
  • Account number
  • Bank routing number and SWIFT code (if needed)
  • Mailing address with city, region, country and postal ZIP code

Some banks have different routing numbers for different types of transactions. The routing number for direct deposits and ACH transfers might be different from the one used for wire transfers, for example. It is critical to find the right routing number for the type transaction you intend to make. If you’re not sure which routing number to use, you may contact your bank for help.

If you’re expecting to receive or send a wire transfer from or to an international account, you’ll need a Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) code, which is used internationally to identify specific banks. It’s the international version of a routing number; and as with a routing number, you may find the SWIFT code on your bank’s website or by calling a bank’s branch location.

Safety tips to wire money

Now that you know how a wire transfer works, let’s talk about safety. A wire transfer is fast and immediate. Con artists often take advantage of its speediness and the fact that it’s irreversible. Wire transfers happen so fast, that it’s possible for a fraudster to seize money from your account before you even realize that it’s missing. So, it’s critical to stem your risk of wire transfer fraud.

Protect your information

Never give out your bank account, credit card numbers or social security number to advertisers or unsolicited calls; or to anyone via text message or email. Swindlers can get ahold of that information to steal money from your account via wire transfer. Make sure that your electronic devices, such as computers, phones and tablets are safe and that the internet you use is secure. This will reduce the risk of having your financial and personal information stolen.

NEVER wire money to anyone you don’t know

Don’t fall for enticing stories or work opportunities presented to you by strangers. If someone you don’t know asks you to wire money, think carefully about who is making the request.

Beware of common schemes

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation warns that common scammers’ baits include work-from-home offers, deals on products for sale, or news that you have won some kind of lottery. There also have been fraud cases where a victim received a check from a scammer (for something that the victim sold to the scammer, for instance). But the scammer wrote the check for more than the amount requested. The victim deposits it into his/her bank account. Then, because of the overpayment, the scammer asked the victim to wire a portion of the money (less than the check amount) to someone else, maybe in another country. In the end, the victim often finds out much later, when the check bounces, that it was a scam and they are responsible for the entire amount.

Be wary of cash wire transfers

Problems that arise from wire transfers are often related to cash wire transfers, like the ones people make via Western Union or MoneyGram. These companies do not verify the identity of either the sender or recipient. So, fraudsters with false identities can easily swoop in to collect money on the other end.

Carefully check the information you put on a wire transfer

One typo could result in money being sent to the wrong person or business.

Check your bank statements regularly

Keep an eye on your bank statements. If there’s a suspicious transaction, inform your bank as soon as possible.

If you have been scammed, file a report

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online or call 1-877-FTC-HELP if you think you may have wired money to a scammer.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Shen Lu
Shen Lu |

Shen Lu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Shen Lu at [email protected]

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