SNL Financial Ranks Europe's 50 Largest Banks

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Deutsche Bank AG crosses the €2 trillion mark in total assets, landing position in first place

Top 50 European Banks

SNL Financial released today its ranking of Europe’s fifty largest banks. According to the ranking, Deutsche Bank AG sits atop the European banking world in terms of total assets, a review of SNL Financial data finds. The German giant is the only banking conglomerate that crosses the €2 trillion mark in total assets, although BNP Paribas SA and HSBC Holdings Plc. are not far behind.

Deutsche is the only German bank in the top 10 ranking, which is dominated by French and British institutions.

SNL Financial's data is pro forma, taking into account pending deals and transactions that have closed on or before May 1, 2011, and that involve a European bank as either the buyer or seller.

One overriding theme in the ranking is the banks' quest to shed assets. That has been the case at HSBC, particularly in the U.S. It sold 195 branches to First Niagara Financial Group Inc. — a deal it announced in late July 2011 — before selling its U.S. card and retail services business to Capital One Financial Corp. These transactions, which reduced HSBC's assets by €30 billion, were a big reason why the U.K. lender found itself in third place in our ranking.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. similarly has been divesting, offloading 318 branches to Banco Santander SA.

Other acquisitions have been on Banco Santander's radar. Case in point: The bank expanded its presence in Poland with its acquisition of Kredyt Bank SA earlier this year from KBC Bank NV.

Meanwhile, deal-making in Spain is often looking like banking's version of musical chairs. A wave of consolidation in Spain has led to Banco Sabadell SA acquiring Caja Mediterráneo, Banco Popular Español SA buying Banco Pastor SA, La Caixa purchasing Banca Cívica SA and Unnim Banc being sold to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.

Overshadowing all these moves is the looming deadline of Basel III's requirement for banks to meet the minimum capital requirements by either raising capital or shedding assets. Only time will tell if size truly matters.

About SNL Financial
SNL Financial is a leading provider of financial information on more than 3,300 public companies and 50,000 private companies in the business sectors critical to the global economy: Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Real Estate, Energy and Media & Communications. The SNL information service integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database available online and updated around the clock. For more information, visit

About SNL’s European Financial Coverage
SNL simplifies analysis of the European banking industry by consolidating all of the information you need in one place and standardizing it on a real-time, interactive Web-based platform. Since 1987, SNL has been the leading provider of sector-focused information in North America, and now we offer the same high caliber of intelligence for the European market. SNL provides comprehensive data, news and documents on nearly 700 banks, as well as information on insurance and financial services firms. For more information, click here.

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Christina Twomey
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