Large diversified banking companies represent one of America’s most globally competitive industries and are an essential element of America’s continued global financial leadership. Large banking companies provide unique and significant value to American businesses, households, consumers, savers and investors – value that is critical to economic growth and job creation.
- The six largest U.S. banks – Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo – employ 1.15 million Americans.
- In addition, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, every financial sector job creates and supports more than one additional non-financial sector job – bringing large banks’ total employment contribution to approximately 2.5 million jobs, or more than 2 percent of total private sector employment.
Beyond direct employment, large banking companies are critical to job creation in several ways:
- Large banks provide 40 percent of all small business loans;
- Large banks provide 85 percent of all consumer credit (e.g., credit cards, car loans); and,
- Large banks service 70 percent of all mortgages.
It was recently estimated that the 26 banking companies with total assets greater than $50 billion serve more than 70 million U.S. households, 85,000 small businesses, and more than 1,000 large corporate customers.
Large institutions are also uniquely suited to meet the financial product and service needs of large U.S. corporations like Intel, IBM, Microsoft, and Caterpillar. Such companies have substantial credit needs and depend on a wide array of products and services, including cash management, cross-border payments and settlement, trade finance, and the management of their interest rate, credit, and foreign exchange risks. And these needs span dozens of countries in which the large companies have business operations.
Only large diversified banking companies can meet such needs – in the sheer size of credits they can deliver, in the wide array of products and services they can provide, and in their geographic reach. Because large diversified financial institutions provide significant economic value that clients and customers rely on, any attempt to arbitrarily and preemptively break them up could cause large firms to leave the United States – thus taking their economic value, expertise, and jobs along with them.
To be a global financial leader, the United States needs institutions of all sizes, business models, and areas of expertise including small community banks, midsize regional banks and large, globally active institutions. Being a global financial leader is an enormous strategic advantage for the U.S. economy and American businesses, workers, savers, and investors — an advantage we should work hard to preserve.
 Portion of total nonfarm private sector employment. See http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/NPPTTL.
“Understanding the Economics of Large Banks,” Clearing House Association, November 2011.