UK lenders tumble down global rankings as China soars

UK lenders tumble down global rankings as China soars

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European banks have tumbled down the world rankings following a bruising encounter with the pandemic, as Chinese lenders continue to rise. 

HSBC is the only European lender to make the world’s top 10 banks, in a year when the Covid crisis hammered profits across the industry.

Europe’s biggest bank rose one position to 8th place after recording a 8pc rise in tier one capital to $160.2bn (£115.4bn), according to data from The Banker

HSBC, which is based in London but makes most of its profits in Asia, endured a smoother ride by concentrating its focus on the more resilient Hong Kong and Chinese markets. 

HSBC was one of only a few bright spots for the UK industry, which has been grappling with Brexit uncertainty and a wave of toxic loans linked to the pandemic. 

Barclays rose one place to 27th, Lloyds Banking Group remained in 42nd, while Natwest fell two places to 43rd and Standard Chartered dropped five positions to 48th, according to the rankings.

Profits at Lloyds, Barclays and Standard Chartered have fallen by a respective 71pc to £2.2bn, 38pc to £1.5bn and 57pc to £1.2bn for 2020.

HSBC announced in February that it would beat a further retreat from the West by investing $6bn to expand across China, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The lender has faced a backlash from Western investors and politicians, however, after it backed Beijing’s controversial security law on Hong Kong and began freezing some pro-democracy activists’ bank accounts. 

Last year HSBC unveiled the biggest overhaul in its history. It earmarked 35,000 job cuts and $4.5bn (£3.6bn) worth of cost cuts.

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