Amid a catastrophic economic climate, it was no surprise the 2008 full-year US banking results made painful reading (see New leaders emerge from the chaos).
Winners – there were a few, but in the past 12 months the term is relative – include TD Bank, owned by Canada’s Toronto-Dominion group. BB&T, with net income down 12.4 percent at $1.52, and M&T, down 15 percent at $556 million, also escaped the worst of the carnage.
As for the losers, the big one is Citi. It has the dubious distinction of posting a loss in each of the four quarters of the year, transforming a group profit in 2007 of $3.6 billion into a loss of $18.7 billion for 2008.
For Bank of America, a tumultuous year ended with retail banking profits falling by 55 percent. Over the course of the year, its market capitalisation collapsed from $183 billion to $38 billion.
One standout feature of the year was the increasing grip the country’s biggest banks have in terms of distribution, with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo and PNC Financial now owning 21,000 branches between them, or 21 percent of the 99,105 bank branches in the US.
In terms of total deposits, the concentration is even more pronounced: Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase now control almost one-third of all US retail deposits.
See New leaders emerge from the chaos for full results analysis