Dec 10, 2019

Big American banks are doing quite well in 2019

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Reproduced from Retail Banker International; Table: Axios Visuals

It has been a particularly good year for American banks. Despite historically low interest rates, which theoretically eat into their profits, the sector has enjoyed significant share appreciation.

By the numbers: 75 of the world’s largest 100 banks by market cap have seen an increase in their stock price in 2019, according to a new report from GlobalData.

Between the lines: When it comes to assets held, American banks have ceded global leadership to China, which is home to the four largest banks by assets — Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China.

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Six of the biggest U.S. banks have weaknesses in their crisis plans

Illustration: Lazaro Gaimo/Axios Visuals

The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found shortcomings in the exit strategies — or "living wills" — of six of the eight largest banks in the U.S., it said on Tuesday.

Why it matters: These living wills dictate how big banks handle bankruptcy during financial distress — or a financial crisis. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are among those currently unable to prove that their top decision-makers can confidently act on crisis-level exit strategies.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

Scoop: The World Bank told Taiwanese staff to get Chinese passports

This year, the World Bank told current and prospective employees of Taiwanese nationality they must present Chinese travel documents in order to maintain or pursue employment.

Why it matters: China has recently ramped up its campaign to systematically force Taiwan and its citizens out of the international community. But forcing out its own staff in this way violates World Bank employment principles.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

European banks could continue to disappoint investors

President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde on Dec. 2, 2019. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

In contrast to the blowout returns of their U.S. counterparts last year, European banks delivered uninspired returns to investors.

What happened: U.S. banks like Citigroup and JPMorgan drove a 32% return for the S&P financial sector, slightly edging the S&P 500's 31% rise. Europe’s bank stocks index ended 2019 up 8%, but trailed the broader European Stoxx 600, which rose 23%.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020