'Big Four' Dominate U.S. Large Corporate Banking

Although the U.S. corporate banking market is still dominated by the “Big Four,” changes are playing out beneath the surface.

For the second year in a row, an unusually large amount of corporate banking business and relationships are up for grabs in the United States.

Forty-five percent of the companies participating in the Greenwich Associates 2016 U.S. Large Corporate Banking Study are moving or considering moving business from one bank to another over the next 12 months. That share is up from just 32% in 2013.

The surprising quantity of “money in motion” reflects a banking and corporate finance industry that has yet to find true equilibrium. Seven years after the crisis, banks are moving in dramatically different trajectories and companies are still working out the best approaches to secure the credit and other services they need.

U.S. Large Corporate Banking

At the top of the market is Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which is named as a corporate banking relationship by an impressive 85% of large U.S. companies, J.P. Morgan, which boasts a market penetration of 81%, Wells Fargo at 73%, Citi at 62%, and the duo of HSBC and U.S. Bank, which tie for fifth place in with a market penetration of 43%-44%. These are the 2016 Greenwich Leaders in U.S. Large Corporate Banking.  The 2016 Greenwich Quality Leader is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Together, the big four of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citi capture three-quarters of the banking wallet of large corporates in the United Sates.

“Domestically, the market has been tough for small regional players,” says Greenwich Associates consultant Andrew Grant. “The one place you do not want to be is in the middle, without a strong geographic or product specialization.”

U.S. Large Corporate Trade Finance

With “plain vanilla” trade finance becoming increasingly commoditized, large U.S. companies are switching providers in order to funnel business to banks that provide credit.

In the midst of this shift, Bank of America Merrill Lynch remains atop the market with a penetration score of 46%, followed by Citi and J.P. Morgan, which are statistically tied at 36%-39%, and Wells Fargo, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, which are tied at 24%-27%. These are the 2016 Greenwich Share Leaders in U.S. Large Corporate Trade Finance. The Greenwich Quality Leaders in this category are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo.

U.S. Large Corporate Cash Management

A market-leading 69% of large U.S. companies use Bank of America Merrill Lynch for cash management. J.P. Morgan is second at 61%, followed by Wells Fargo at 52%, Citi at 45% and HSBC at 32%. These are the 2016 Greenwich Share Leaders in U.S. Large Corporate Cash Management. The 2016 Greenwich Quality Leaders are Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo.


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