Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

5 biggest banks now own almost half the industry

BofA misses on both top, bottom line
BofA misses on both top, bottom line

Too-big-to-fail banks, instead of getting smaller, are pretty much taking over the financial universe.

The largest five banks in the U.S. now control nearly 45 percent of the industry's total assets, according to an analysis from SNL Financial that comes amid an earnings season that has been generally positive for the largest institutions. (Tweet this)

In total, the five institutions—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp—had just under $7 trillion in total assets as of the end of 2014. That's good for 44.61 percent of the industry total. It also leaves the other 55.4 percent of the assets to be divided up among 6,504 other institutions. Banks had total assets of just over $15 trillion at year's end, a number that has grown to about $15.3 trillion in 2015, according to the Federal Reserve.

Big banks getting bigger

Bank Total assets ($B) Share of industry assets (%)
JPMorgan Chase2,074.9513.34
Bank of America1,574.0910.12
Wells Fargo1,532.789.86
U.S. Bank398.982.57

Source: Source: SNL Financial

The asset total for the five institutions in 2014 represents a 2.3 percent gain from the previous year.

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As an industry, banks made $36.9 billion in the year, a decline of 7.3 percent from the 2014 total due mainly to legal expenses at some of the largest institutions, according to the FDIC. Though the total profits declined, the number of banks that operated at a loss dropped to 9.4 percent from 12.7 percent in 2013.

JPMorgan showed the biggest growth in terms of its share of assets, increasing 13.3 percent on a quarterly basis and 6.7 percent annualized, SNL reported. BofA and Wells Fargo saw modest increases in their share, while Citi's assets fell $20.84 billion quarterly as part of a year when its total increased by less than $1 billion.