Democrats Have a Big Bank Problem: Street Whispers
Meanwhile, the big banks are bigger than ever. According to a table prepared by SNL Financial and cited by the Wall Street Journal last week, the "big four" U.S. Banks -- including JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , Bank of America (BAC) , JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , Citigroup (C) , and Wells Fargo (WFC) -- have a larger combined market share than they did ten years ago. The SNL data is limited to bank holding companies with deposits funding at least 25% of total assets.
- JPMorgan Chase had $2.3 trillion in total assets as of June 30, nearly tripling in size over the past ten years, including the purchase of the failed Washington Mutual from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in September 2008, the fire-sale purchase of Bear Stearns in March of 2008, which was brokered by the Federal Reserve. Among the largest 50 U.S. banks, JPMorgan had an 18.33% share of assets as of June 30, increasing from 12.51% in June 2002.
- Bank of America had $2.2 trillion in assets as of June 30, also more than tripling its balance sheet from ten years earlier. The company is at the forefront of the legacy mortgage mess, from its disastrous purchase of Countrywide Financial in July 2008. In the wake of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, Bank of America also acquired Merrill Lynch in September 2008. The company's share of total assets among the largest 50 U.S. banks increased to 17.31% as of June 30, from 10.89% in June 2002.
- Citigroup had $1.9 trillion in total assets as of June 30, more than doubling in size from 10 years earlier. Citigroup's TARP bailout was unusual among the largest banks, as the government's preferred stake in the company was converted into common shares, which were later sold by the U.S. Treasury. Citi's share of assets among the top 50 U.S. banks declined to 15.34% as of June 30, from 18.08% ten years earlier, according to SNL Financial.
- Wells Fargo had $1.3 trillion in total assets as of June 30, which was nearly four times as large as the company's balance sheet was 10 years earlier. The company more than doubled in size when it acquired Wachovia late in 2008, after the Charlotte, N.C. lender's liquidity crisis forced the FDIC to broker a sale to Citigroup, which Wells Fargo later trumped with a higher bid. Wells Fargo's share of assets among the top 50 U.S. banks was 10.70% as of June 30, increasing from 5.76% in June 2002.