By Adam Clark
HSBC Holdings held onto its position as the largest bank in Europe by total assets in 2017 despite taking a 152 billion euros ($180.7 billion) hit from the weaker dollar, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
HSBC ended the year with EUR2.10 trillion in total assets, leaving it as the only European institution to top the EUR2 trillion mark, says S&P. In dollars, HSBC's assets grew 6.2% to $2.50 trillion.
HSBC's closest European rival was BNP Paribas, which remained in second spot with EUR1.96 trillion in assets.
HSBC was one of six British banks in Europe's top 50, equal to the number of French lenders. However, Germany took top spot with seven banks among the continent's largest.
Among Europe's top 10 lenders, Spain's Banco Santander rose two spots to become the fifth-largest, with EUR1.45 trillion in assets. Santander overtook Barclays and Societe Generale SA France (GLE.FR).
Also rising was Dutch bank ING Groep, becoming the tenth-largest European bank with EUR846.22 billion in assets. Falling out of the top 10 was Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
S&P said that among the top 10 European banks, six booked a year-on-year decline in assets in euro terms.
Among the global top 100 banks by assets, China had the highest number with 18 and a total of $23.76 trillion assets. The U.S. followed with 11 and $12.20 trillion in assets.
"Asian banks continue to dominate the S&P Global Market Intelligence global bank rankings with Chinese institutions claiming the top four spots," said JP O'Sullivan, managing director of financial institutions at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
"As bank profitability improves in terms of return on average equity, we expect banks to move away from cost-cutting and towards sustainable growth. In this low rate environment, growing the balance sheet can be an effective way to generate earnings. Moreover, as interest rates rise, we can expect a boost to bottom line earnings and this bodes well for future growth prospects within the banking sector," he added.
Write to Adam Clark at [email protected]; @AdamDowJones