Template talk:50 largest US banks

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WikiProject United States (Rated Template-class)
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WikiProject Finance (Rated Template-class)
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As an outline I selected the banks included in this template from fdic.gov (follow: Analysts, Summary of Deposits, Summary Tables, Top 50 Commercial Banks and Savings Institutions by Total Domestic Deposits).

I have removed some entries which seemed to be duplicates, and also recently concluded takeovers, however left Regions and AmSouth as they havent completed yet. There are some red links left and it would be great if anyone could link them up with the correct pages if they exist.

I recon its important we dont just keep adding banks to this one, perhaps an entry criteria would be best? Remembering there are some 7,500 banks in the United States. Ian3055 00:33, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

I definitely agree that the box be limited in scope, as it could get out of hand rather quickly. Not sure what the criteria should be though. Also, should it include companies without a retail bank, e.g. Merrill Lynch? In my edits today I removed some brokerage houses, but I don't know how others feel about it. Uvaduck 02:13, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
This template obviously has some problems. We need some criteria for inclusion of banks. I suggest that we limit inclusion to the 30 largest banks, based on deposits.
As to the question about banks without retail banks, they should not be included, as the header to the template says "Commercial banks in the United States." This header should be amended to say "The 30 largest commercial banks in the United States, based on deposits". 21:06, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


Could someone confirm if BB&T is the same institution as Branch Banking and Trust Company of Virginia and/or Branch Banking and Trust Company? Ian3055 17:02, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

It is the same. Go to BB&T article. --TinMan 22:39, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

The Branch Banking and Trust Company is based in Winston-Salem, NC —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for template update[edit]

If I may, I would suggest that we modify the size, source, and scope of this template. After the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, virtually all banks are wholly-owned subsidiaries of bank holding companies (and in fact, most of the links on this template are to the bank holding companies, rather than the banking subsidiaries themselves). As bank holding companies sometimes own multiple bank charters, maintaining the list in its current form can be tricky. Additionally, to reflect the fact that modern banks offer a variety of financial services, bank holding companies generally rank themselves by asset size, not deposit size (as an example, Bank of America is over $1.4 trillion in assets, but only has $563 billion in deposits).

As such, I propose we:

  • update the template header to read "50 largest bank holding companies in the United States" (which should dramatically reduce the number of people adding their favourite local bank (such as the relatively tiny Apple Bank) to the template).
  • change the inclusion criteria to being one of the fifty largest bank holding companies as measured by asset size.
  • change the template's source to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's annual Top 50 bank holding companies report.

Thoughts? Opinions? --Kralizec! (talk) 16:45, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

As it has been nearly three weeks with no objections or counter-proposals, I have completed the changes listed above. --Kralizec! (talk) 22:04, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Additional comments have been added to the template which enumerate the otherwise hard-to-follow conventions I used when adding links and abbreviating names. --Kralizec! (talk) 16:33, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Royal Bank of Scotland Group[edit]

It looks nice, but the list must list parent holding companies. Citizens Financial Group is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland Group so I made the appropriate correction. Steelbeard1 14:36, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Found a few more errors[edit]

I took the time to look up every one of the Top 50 banks listed with Wikipedia articles to weed out the subsidiary banks. I found a half dozen or so subsidiaries so I replaced them with their respective holding companies Steelbeard1 15:07, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually they were not errors per se, because we both appear to be looking at the list from different philosophical perspectives. As this template shows the "fifty largest American banks and bank holding companies," my intention was to list the highest level American owner. This dovetails nicely with the source list from the FFIEC, which also lists the top American bank holding company. So while Royal Bank of Scotland Group is the ultimate owner of Citizens Financial Group, all of the company's US bank brands (Charter One Bank, Citizens Bank) are subsidiaries of Citizens Financial Group in Providence, RI (which is #10 on the FFIEC list). Likewise, all of Bank of Montreal's American operations are owned by Harris Bank in Wilmington, DE (#23 on the FFIEC list). The only exceptions to this where I listed the foreign owner of the bank is where the top American company did not have a Wikipedia article. Examples include Deutsche Bank, whose American operations are owned by Taunus Corporation of New York, NY (#7 on the FFIEC list), Royal Bank of Canada, whose domestic holding company is RBC Centura of Raleigh, NC (#39 on the FFIEC list), etc. As such, my preference would be to keep the template as a list of the top American corporate owners of the various banks and bank holding companies. --Kralizec! (talk) 20:16, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The precedence was set when LaSalle Bank/LaSalle Bank Midwest were replaced by holding company ABN AMRO. So we must be consistent with formatting. ABN AMRO is a Dutch-based multinational financial institution. Steelbeard1 20:22, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Again, that was only because the American holder of ABN AMRO's American divisions, ABN AMRO North America of Chicago, IL (#11 on the FFIEC list) does not have its own Wikipedia article. However when the ultimate foreign owner has an American holding company with a Wikipedia article, I listed that top American company instead. Otherwise it is not really the "50 largest American banks and bank holding companies." --Kralizec! (talk) 20:51, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

In the spirit of compromise, I removed all of the foreign companies from the template and replaced them with their highest level American subsidiaries. Where Wikipedia did not have articles on the subsidiary, I created a redirect (ABN AMRO North America, Taunus Corporation, etc.) to the parent company and tagged it {{R with possibilities}}. --Kralizec! (talk) 16:34, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Bank of New York Mellon[edit]

Can we update the template to reflect the merger of Bank of New York and Mellon Financial to form Bank of New York Mellon? --Vivenot 11:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Done. Thanks! --Kralizec! (talk) 14:28, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

What's the #50 US Bank?[edit]

I only count 49 US Banks on the template. What's the new #50 US Bank? Steelbeard1 10:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, that was my mistake. I replaced Bank of New York and Mellon Financial with the new, combined Bank of New York Mellon. In the future I will avoid merging banks until our cited source shows the same thing. --Kralizec! (talk) 22:46, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Sovereign Bank[edit]

Maybe I'm mistaken, but Sovereign Bank doesn't seem to be on the list. And yet, the template appears on Sovereign's article page. It even says on its article page that it's the 19th largest banking institution in the U.S. (or at least it says something to that extent). What's up with that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Sovereign Bank does not appear on the template because it is not on the source list: the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's quarterly Top 50 bank holding companies report. --Kralizec! (talk) 21:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
And it's not on the source list for the same reason Washington Mutual isn't: Its "bank" is actually a savings and loan. That is the biggest shortcoming of this list: It only counts BHCs; it leaves out large S&Ls like WaMu and Sovereign. Per their 3/31 SEC 10-Q's (the closest equivalent to the Fed's BHC data) as posted on their websites, WaMu would be 8th with $319.6 billion [1]; Sovereign would be 21st with $81.9 billion [2]. --RBBrittain (talk) 02:53, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I should add that this shortcoming has now been eliminated by changes to the makeup of the source list: The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, in abolishing the Office of Thrift Supervision, transferred that office's regulation of S&L holding companies to the Federal Reserve. After a transition, S&L holding companies now submit the same reports to the Fed as BHCs; thus S&L holding companies now appear in the FFIEC list along with BHCs. (This is in addition to Sovereign Bank itself converting to a national bank charter in 2012, probably in preparation for its rebranding as Santander later this year.) --RBBrittain (talk) 04:29, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Where to use?[edit]

Where do people think this template should be used? I definitely think it's appropriate for the articles of the 50 largest. However, I'm currently thinking putting it on every bank article is unnecessary. Superm401 - Talk 21:37, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

While the template should definitely be on the fifty largest American banks, it could just as easily be included as a sort of umbrella template on any other US bank regardless of its size. It would work much the same way that an article like List of regional organizations by population has the {{Lists of countries}} template on it, while the article itself is not included in the umbrella template. --Kralizec! (talk) 01:16, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


USAA FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK as of September 2008, the bank held over $27.5 billion in deposits with more than 3.8 million accounts.

PLEASE ADD BANK TO YOUR LIST —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, it is not on this template's source list: the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's quarterly Top 50 bank holding companies report. --Kralizec! (talk) 20:46, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I noticed two blank places such as Wachovia which was absorbed by Wells Fargo. I wonder which two financial institutions are ranked #51 and #52 which will make the next Top 50? Steelbeard1 (talk) 21:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Apparently the FFIEC finally got around to filling those two holes in the list. The new entrants are Susquehanna Bank ($13.6 billion in assets, from Lititz, PA) and BancorpSouth ($13.3 billion, Tupelo, MS). --Kralizec! (talk) 17:34, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

'USAA bank one of largest in world', San Antonio Express-News 1. We are the 28th largest bank in the nation —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:43, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

This was automatically fixed by changes to the source list (see my last comment on Sovereign Bank above). USAA, as an S&L holding company, is now automatically included in the FFIEC source list. --RBBrittain (talk) 04:31, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley[edit]

These should have been added by now, and they are the fifth and sixth largest bank holding companies in the U.S. The source list being relied upon may be from an official source, but if it is not updated reasonably promptly, I'm not sure it makes sense to follow it religiously. Luwilt (talk) 01:42, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a recommendation a source list that is updated on a more timely basis? It would have to come from a third-party agency or organization that not only independently judges banks on the financial reports they are legally required to submit, but also does it based on data representing the exact same time period. We cannot use the existing Wikipedia articles (or the banks themselves) to provide this data. As an example, looking at the Goldman Sachs article, I see that its asset size is not cited at all, while the Morgan Stanley article only reports the value of assets under the bank's management, and even that only comes from the Morgan Stanley web site itself (which is an unacceptable primary source). While the quarterly updates of the FFIEC list make it less than perfect, it allows us to have a template that is 100% sourced and cited to the federal agency charged with ensuring that banks are supervised consistently and uniformly, which also makes the FFIEC's list the epitome of a reliable, third-party, published source. --Kralizec! (talk) 03:38, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Your argument that a source which contained serious errors was "reliable" shows up the absurdity of the whole concept of a "reliable source". Sources only vary in the degree to which they are unreliable. In a world based on reason rather than faith, one should never call any source "reliable" without qualification.
I will amend the template to show the date of the list on which it is based. This will reduce the amount of error/misinterpretation, but it will not make the list reliable. If something is incorrect, it is incorrect, whatever the source may be. Your apparent desire to validate the cherished "reliable" source by hinting that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs (which have now been added) were not really in the top 50 banks in the U.S. when anyone with the slightest grasp of business would know that they are, and there are thousands of sources which prove it, shows a credulous, almost religious, attitude to "reliable" sources, a greater interest in protecting their privileged status than in writing factually correct articles that is really quite alarming, but is all too common I fear. If this "reliable source" proves to be unreliable in the future, the most appropriate response will be to delete the template to avoid misleading the reader by parroting errors, not to attempt to argue that 2+2=5 must be correct after all because a "reliable source" says it is.
In the reality based world a company's accounts are the most reliable source for its financial figures, even if this conflicts with the cherished hierarchy of primary/secondary/tertiary. The supposedly superior secondly sources simply repeat the information while adding the risk of transcription errors and errors of misunderstanding - and since most people are confused by any number with more than six digits, such errors occur with appalling regularity throughout the media. I see at least one in the press every week, usually confusing millions and billions or billions and trillions, or messing up a currency conversion. It is also commonplace for journalists to misread accounts and quote the wrong profit line, confuse revenue and profit, or net and gross - the only why to check that a "reliable" secondary source is giving you correct information about a company's results is to look at the company's accounts oneself. Choalbaton (talk) 16:18, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
"Correct" and "incorrect" are often judged in the eye of the beholder. However we are constrained by Wikipedia's core content policy on Verifiability, which notes that "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." Likewise, primary sources (such as a company's own press releases and/or financial statements) are generally discounted because, quite frankly they have been known to lie. — Kralizec! (talk) 04:37, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
So you prefer a verified untruth that you know to be untrue to an "unverified" truth that you know to be true. When Wikipedia has such nonsensical policies, and people who cherish their nonsensicality, it can be no surprise that it remains a poor quality resource. The point about misleading accounts is a red herring here, even deliberately falsified accounts are the best information available about a company's financial data until the falsification has been publicly quantified. Postlebury (talk) 02:15, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Redirects intentionally included in template[edit]

This was discussed in May 2007, but given recent edits I figured it should be brought up again. The FFIEC list we use as the source gives the name of the top American bank holding company regardless of if that company is itself owned by a foreign bank. Examples include Taunus Corporation, #9 on the 2009.09.30 FFIEC list, is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. Since the intention of this template is to show the "fifty largest American banks," it makes sense to use the redirect link if that company is the highest level American company. — Kralizec! (talk) 03:56, 3 November 2009 (UTC)