10 leading banks in Europe

Check the list of the leading banks in Europe according to their total assets

leading banks europe

10 leading banks in Europe. Source: shutterstock.com

PaySpace Magazine has compiled a list of the top 10 leading European banks by total assets.

10 leading banks in Europe

  1. HSBC Holdings plc, the UK
  2. BNP Paribas SA, France
  3. Crédit Agricole Group, France
  4. Deutsche Bank AG, Germany
  5. Banco Santander SA, Spain
  6. Barclays plc, the UK
  7. Société Générale SA, France
  8. Groupe BPCE, France
  9. Lloyds Banking Group plc, the UK
  10. UniCredit SpA, Italy

1. HSBC Holdings plc, the UK – €2,100.13B (total assets)

We’ll start with HSBC, which is a British banking and financial services and holding company. In terms of total assets, market cap, and other significant (banking-related) indicators, this bank is the biggest one in the UK, Europe, and one of the largest banking/financial services organizations in the world. HSBC operates in many countries, and it runs no less than 7,500 branches worldwide in more than 80 countries in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. However, HSBC’s major regions of interest are the UK and Hong Kong. Moreover, HSBC’s subsidiary The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation is considered to be the largest bank in Hong Kong, which owns a quarter of all assets of all banks in the state. Since 2011, the bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks. What’s more, HSBC is also included in the “four major clearing banks in the UK” list.

leading banks europe

HSBC is a British banking and financial services and holding company. Source: shutterstock.com

Interestingly, HSBC holds more deposits than loans (so-called loan:deposit ratio is 90%), which makes this bank a less risky option, compared to other financial institutions. This has led to the bank being seen as a less risky proposition than the other banks by investors and customers, as it is able to fully fund its own operations. It has also contributed to the company’s share price maintaining value throughout the credit crunch, unlike other banks in the market.

SEE ALSO: British bank’s Voice ID system saved nearly £400M from fraudsters

2. BNP Paribas SA, France – €1,963.43B

BNP Paribas is a French international banking group, and according to the major banking indicators (total assets, market cap, etc) BNP Paribas is the largest bank in France. The banking group, alongside Crédit Agricole, Société Générale, and Groupe BPCE are considered to be the “big four” of the French banking market. BNP Paribas is usually included in multiple “largest banks/most influential banks/etc” lists. As of 2019, the banking group was included in the top 10 largest banks worldwide list in terms of total assets. Since 2011, the bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks.

leading banks europe

BNP Paribas is a French international banking group. Source: shutterstock.com

SEE ALSO: BNP Paribas partners European open banking platform 

3. Crédit Agricole Group, France – €1,763.17B

Crédit Agricole is a French international banking group, and, as we’ve already mentioned above, this financial institution, alongside with BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and Groupe BPCE are considered to be the “big four” of the French banking market. Since 2018, the bank has usually been included in the top 10 largest banks worldwide list in terms of total assets. As of today, Crédit Agricole Group operates in 47 countries and delivers its services to more than 51M clients through no less than 10,700 offices. Since 2011, the bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks.

leading banks europe

Crédit Agricole is a French international banking group. Source: shutterstock.com

SEE ALSO: Major banking group opens first cashless branch in Poland

4. Deutsche Bank AG, Germany – €1,470.38B

Deutsche Bank (literally means Bank of Germany) is the largest bank in Germany in terms of total assets and the number of employees. Deutsche Bank is one of the 30 most important transnational banks according to the Financial Stability Board. The bank has over 30M clients, and more than 2,800 branches (no less than 1800 offices are located in Germany). Moreover, Deutsche Bank operates in around 80 countries, while the most important offices are located in New York, London, Singapore, Sidney, and Moscow. Similar to all the above-mentioned banks, Deutsche Bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks since 2011.

leading banks europe

Deutsche Bank is the largest bank in Germany and one of the leading banks in Europe in terms of total assets. Source: shutterstock.com

SEE ALSO: Popular German bank launches Private Bank

5. Banco Santander SA, Spain – €1,446.15B

Banco Santander (operating as Santander Group, or Grupo Santander) is the largest financial/banking group in Spain. The bank also plays an important role in the banking market in such countries as the UK, the US, and several Latin American countries. Banco Santander is the key player on the Grupo Santander’s field.

leading banks europe

This Spanish commercial bank is the largest financial institution in Spain. Source: shutterstock.com

Nowadays, the financial institution (and the financial group as well) is a big player, and it is rather a result of numerous mergers and acquisitions. The major one took place in 1999, and it was a merger of Banco Santander and Banco Central Hispano, the largest and the 3rd largest Spanish banks respectively.

Interesting fact, the banking group spent more than $70B on acquisitions and mergers during 1985—2010.

SEE ALSO: Santander launches money transfer app in the UK

6. Barclays plc, the UK – €1,275.62B

Barclays is one of the largest conglomerates and banks in the world and Barclays Bank is the second-largest bank in the UK (second only to HSBC), which operates in different countries worldwide, while the bank’s major regions of interest are Europe, the US, and Asia. Most of the operations of the conglomerate are carried out through subsidiary Barclays Bank PLC. The bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks since 2011.

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Barclays is a British investment bank and financial services company. Source: shutterstock.com

The major divisions of Barclays Plc are:

Barclays UK, which has more than 1,200 branches and 23,000 employees, and it is in charge of:

  • Personal Banking (general banking services);
  • Barclaycard Consumer UK (credit cards and whatnot);
  • Wealth, Entrepreneurs & Business Banking (banking services for companies, from small startups to large enterprises);

Barclays International, which manages the international activity of the bank.

Head Office, which is actually a headquarters.

SEE ALSO: Large UK bank announced unprecedented Open Banking initiative

7. Société Générale SA, France – €1,275.13B

Société Générale is a large French financial institution. The bank, along with Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas, and Groupe BPCE are considered to be the “big four” of the French banking market. Since 2011, the bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks.

banks

Société Générale is one of the leading banks in Europe. Source: shutterstock.com

Main activities of Société Générale:

  • Retail banking in France, which includes Société Générale and Credit du Nord networks of offices; it also includes online banking (Boursorama).
  • International banking and financial services. The bank operates in Europe, Russia, Africa, and Asia.
  • Insurance. It runs such companies as Sogecap, Sogessur, Oradea Vie, and others
  • Car rental services (i.e. ALD Automotive).
  • Global banking and investments.

SEE ALSO: Societe Generale invests in Czech startup 

8. Groupe BPCE, France – €1,259.42B

Groupe BPCE is a French financial group (it’s enough mentioning the French banking “big four”, you’ll already remember this fact). Since 2011, the bank has been included in the list of systematically important banks (although in 2017, Groupe BPCE was excluded from the list for one year). BPCE consists of 14 Banque Populaire, a network of Caisses d’Epargne, Natixis bank, and numerous small financial institutions and subsidiaries. BPCE provides its services for over 30M clients, and the bank mostly operates in France.

Retail banking and insurance are the major activities of the bank.

9. Lloyds Banking Group plc, the UK – €914.14B

Lloyds Banking Group plc is a British financial company. Lloyds, alongside with Barclays, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group form the «big four» of the British banking market. The financial institution mostly operates in the UK.

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This is one of the biggest British financial institutions. Source: shutterstock.com

Divisions and subsidiaries:

  • Retail. It is about normal banking-related services (managing accounts, loans, mortgages, etc) to individuals in the UK.
  • Commercial Banking, which takes care of banking services for companies and enterprises that run their business in the UK.
  • Consumer Finance: автокредитование (Black Horse), автолизинг (Lex Autolease), ипотечное кредитование, credit cards issuing;
  • Insurance: multiple options for insurance.

SEE ALSO: Brits spend 42% less on non-essentials last month

10. UniCredit SpA, Italy – €936.79B

UniCredit Group is a large Italian financial company. Source: shutterstock.com

UniCredit Group is a large Italian financial company, which works in 22 European states, as well as in 27 other countries worldwide. The bank has the largest network in Central and Eastern Europe.

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