James Forsyth

The rise of the Chinese banks

The rise of the Chinese banks
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This FT graphic showing the world's biggest financial institutions by market cap from 1999 to 2009 is fascinating. In 1999, there were no Chinese banks in the top 20. Now, the top three positions are held by Chinese institutions and there are five of them in the top 20. In 1999, 11 of the 20 biggest institutions were American. Now, three are. Britain has gone from having four representatives--HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and NatWest--to having just one, HSBC.

Obviously, 2009 is a low point for the Western financial sector and size isn't everything. Also, the Chinese financial sector has its own reckoning coming soon. But it'll be fascinating to see if this is a permanent shift or not.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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