The Facts

The largest banks in the United States are strong, resilient, and serve a broad range of customers, clients, and communities across the country. 

Strength and Resiliency

  • The largest U.S. banks have greatly increased their capital. The largest banks’ common equity tier 1 capital, the highest quality of regulatory capital, has more than tripled in the past 14 years.

 

  • Since 2008, the largest U.S. banks’ total loss absorbency—measured by a range of capital requirements—has more than doubled, substantially improving their ability to withstand losses.

  • The largest U.S. banks already are subject to higher capital requirements than their European competitors.

  • Liquidity complements capital and improves banks’ resiliency to adverse shocks. High-quality liquid assets at the the largest U.S. banks has nearly tripled since 2009,

Strong Economic Contributors

The largest U.S. banks serve the economy in a number of important ways. They:

  • hold $4.55 trillion in loans, accounting for more than one-third of total lending by banks to businesses and households.

  • are a major source of lending to small businesses. The largest U.S. banks hold $53 billion in business loans less than $100,000, representing more than one-third of all such loans by banks to small businesses.

  • provide $801 billion in consumer loans, accounting for nearly half of all consumer loans by banks in the United States.

  • underwrite nearly three-quarters of debt and equity transactions—such as initial public offerings—among large institutions in the U.S., providing a critical service that other U.S. institutions cannot offer on a similar scale.

Four-quarter average for periods ending Q4 2021 and Q4 2022

Markets Matter

The U.S. capital markets are the largest in the world and continue to be among the deepest, most liquid and most efficient.

Equities: U.S. equity markets represent 43% of the $96 trillion in global equity market cap, or $41 trillion; this is 4.0x the next largest market, China.
Fixed Income: U.S. fixed income markets comprise 39% of the $128 trillion securities outstanding across the globe, or $50 trillion; this is 2.0x the next largest market, the EU.

Capital markets are critical to financing economies and supporting economic growth; they enable the efficient allocation of risk and transfer of capital across parties. In the U.S., capital markets fund 75% of all economic activity, in terms of equity and debt financing of non-financial corporations.

U.S. Capital Markets Enable Families to Invest in America and Save Toward Financial Security

The U.S. capital markets are where people – individually and collectively through pension funds and mutual funds – invest their savings to seek a return. By putting their capital to work in our markets, they invest in companies that drive innovation. They also invest in state and local infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals. Combined, their savings fuel economic growth, and job creation.

Sources:

Highest-quality capital - FR Y-9C data

Note: Capital amounts are reflective of the regulatory definition of capital at each point in time.

Total capital - FR Y-9C data; Federal Reserve Board “The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program: Overview of Results”

Capital requirements: U.S. vs. Europe, Q4 2022 - U.S. FFIEC101 Reports and Annual Reports of European GSIBs

Liquidity -FR Y-9Cdata; Large bank LCR disclosures

Note: HQLA is reported according to Basel III at the Bank Holding Company level; Chart represents a rolling four-quarter average; HQLA data from firms’ LCR disclosures

Total lending - ​​Data retrieved from Y-9C

Small business loans less than $100,000 - FDIC Call Report data; FDIC Loans to Small Businesses and Small Farms

Consumer lending - Federal Reserve data, Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States – H.8; FR Y-9C data

Note: Consumer lending defined as credit cards, other revolving credit plans, automobile loans, and other personal loans held for trading

Underwriting - FR Y-15 data

Note: The data cover debt and equity underwriting for all holding companies with total consolidated assets in excess of $50 billion

US Capital Markets Are the Largest in the World - World Federation of Exchanges (as of September 2027), Bank for International Settlements (as of March 2027) 

Note: Equity = market cap, Fl =fixed income, includes structured products = securities outstanding. EU = 27 member states, excluding the UK; Fl = fixed income; EM = emerging markets; HK= Hong Kong; OM = developed markets 

Capital Markets Fuel Economies - Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, National Bureau of Statistics of China, Federal Reserve (as of 2020, China 2077) 

Note: Euro Area = 79 EU-member states using the Euro; EU = 27 member states. Other financing = insurance reserves, trade credits and trade advances. 

Stock Ownership: 53% of households in the U.S. own stock - The Federal Reserve - Financial Accounts of the United States 

Note: Household sector includes nonprofit organizations; includes both directly and indirectly held equities (i.e. through mutual funds).

U.S. households own 58.5 trillion in liquid assets - The Federal Reserve - Financial Accounts of the United States 

Note: Households include nonprofit organizations. Liquid financial assets exclude pension fund reserves, equity in non-corporate business, etc

Retirement Assets - Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Accounts, SIFMA estimates (as of June 2027) 

Note: Pensions includes defined benefit and defined contribution plans held by private individuals; 403 plans are included in private pensions