Weak performances by, among others, Canary Wharf -based Barclays has seen the profitability of the British sector fall compared to international rivals.
And with the decision to leave the EU throwing further doubt on to the home-grown sector, the future looks “even more uncertain”.
British banks saw their profits slip by more than a fifth, allowing other countries to steal a march, according to The Banker’s ranking guide the Top 1,000 Banks. The UK is now seventh in the list of most profitable countries for banking, behind Australia.
The guide reported that that UK banks provided 2.6% of world banking profits, compared with 10% a decade ago, while China has risen inexorably, from 4% to 32% over the past 10 years.
Other international banks with a strong Wharf presence are represented in the list, including JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.
Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker , said: “While the advent of challenger banks is a healthy sign, they are still very small. The real story of UK banks this year is restructuring, downsizing and falls in profits. They are much less significant in global terms than before the global financial crisis.”
HSBC, based in Canary Wharf, was now the only British bank in the global top 10, placed at ninth. It was the world’s second largest bank just before the credit crisis in 2008.
Barclays slipped from 13th to 17th, while challenger banks Metro and Sainsbury’s Bank reached 969th and 803.
Losses at RBS and Standard Chartered, coupled with profit falls at Barclays and Lloyds, helped trigger the first drop in UK bank profits since 2013.
The German sector saw the largest fall in Europe with profits down 63%.
The top 10 banks
- China Construction Bank
- JP Morgan Chase
- Bank of China
- Agricultural Bank of China
- Bank of America
- Wells Fargo
- Mitsubishi UFJ
Top 10 most profitable countries for banking
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