Chinese lender becomes world’s biggest bank

Chinese lender becomes world’s biggest bankThe Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has emerged as the biggest bank in the world indicating that the financial centre in the global economy is shifting towards east.

In terms of the balance sheet strength, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China emerged on the top of the list of global banks with $160.6 billion in tier one capital. The bank recorded an annual profit of $49.1bn in 2012. The new report by the Banker magazine also showed that there were four state-owned Chinese banks in the top ten.

The Bank of America, which was on the top of the list in the previous year, fell to the third position while JP Morgan Chase & Co remained in the second place. The total profit of the world's top 1,000 global banks has now risen to $749bn, which is almost the same as the peak seen in 2007.

As for the UK, only HSBC features on the top ten list of banks. The combined profits of British banks fell to $19.6 billion compared to $85.2bn five years ago, according to data compiled by The Banker. The data also showed that UK banks now account for just 2.6 per cent of global profits compared to 11 per cent in 2007.

Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker, said: "UK banks always used to outperform in the ranking, but for the past several years they have been slipping back."