First Research US Industry Profile

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Banks & Credit Unions
SIC Codes: 6021, 6022, 6035, 6036, 6061, 6062
NAICS Codes: 52211, 52212, 52213
Last Quarterly Update: 8/5/2019
Companies in this industry accept deposits and make commercial, industrial, and consumer loans. Major companies include Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Navy Federal Credit Union (all based in the US), as well as Banco Santander (Spain), HSBC Holdings (UK), China Construction Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
North America accounts for about 30% of global banking revenue, followed by Western Europe and China (20% each), according to consulting firm McKinsey & Company. China -- home to four of the world's 10 largest banks -- represents a huge growth opportunity for banks, as does the massive unbanked population in India.
The US banking industry includes about 4,700 commercial banks, 690 savings banks, and 5,375 credit unions with combined annual revenue of about $556 billion. Commercial banks have about $16.7 trillion in assets, savings banks $1.2 trillion, and credit unions $1.45 trillion.
Competitive Landscape
Demand for banking services is closely tied to economic activity and the level of interest rates. The profitability of individual banks depends on marketing skills, efficient operations, and good risk management. Large economies of scale exist in some segments of the industry, which has encouraged industry consolidation. While smaller banks and credit unions can compete successfully in segments where customer service or knowledge of the local market is more important, big banks are becoming increasingly dominant.
The US commercial banking and savings segments are concentrated: in each segment the 50 largest firms generate about two-thirds of revenue. The credit union segment is fragmented: the 50 largest firms generate 30% of revenue. Commercial banks account for about 81% of industry revenue; savings banks, 8%, and credit unions, 11%.
A decade after financial crisis of the late-2000s finds the global banking industry on firmer footing, although the recovery hasn't been uniform across all regions. Assets at US banks reached nearly $17 trillion at the end of 2018, and return on equity is at a post-crisis high. Still, the spectre of the financial crisis and recession, which resulted in extensive losses, more than 500 bank failures, government takeovers, and involuntary mergers has left its mark on the industry. Although the financial climate has improved and loan demand is strong, persistently low interest rates and increased government regulation have resulted in a prolonged recovery period and increased costs for the industry.
In response, banks have been broadly reducing headcounts and shedding high-risk activities, such as trading on their own accounts, that once powered their earnings. Concurrently, banks are being challenged by a rash of financial technology (aka fintech) startups offering alternatives to traditional banking, such as peer-to-peer online lending, alternative payment systems, and other services. Indeed, many tech-savvy millennials are bypassing brick-and-mortar branches in favor of online transactions and other options.
While fintech companies are driving innovation in financial services, they've yet to capture significant market share. Global technology giants, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook, pose a greater threat to banks, according to the World Economic Forum. Their expertise in critical technologies such as cloud computing, customer-facing artificial intelligence, and "big data" consumer analytics opens the door to competition with banks in the future.
The growth of international trade has encouraged some US banks to expand to foreign markets, and has also led foreign banks to enter the US market. Some of the biggest US banks, notably Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, have large foreign operations. ING, Santander, and HSBC all have operations in the US.
Products, Operations & Technology
Banks generate revenue mainly through interest income and service fees. Some banks also have significant revenue from investment activities. For commercial ... plus:
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Regional & International Issues
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Human Resources
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Industry Indicators
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Business Challenges
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Trends and Opportunities
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Financial Information
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Glossary of Acronyms

Historical Profiles (PDF format)

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