Data viz tools show increasing big bank share over time
October 19, 2010 — Increasing dominance by the biggest banks, and, particularly in the last few years, by federally chartered banks as compared with others, are among the trends vividly revealed in the first Map and Data Tools being published by Remapping Debate. Tools such as these, with user-friendly graphics and visualizations, can be invaluable in illuminating complicated data sets; Remapping Debate will be using these tools (always available in the site’s top navigation menu) particularly in connection with illustrating change over time. This week’s charts are drawn from more than 350,000 data points covering the period from 1992 to 2009, data provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The charts on in-sector and cross-sector concentration over time are organized by banking sector (federally chartered commercial banks, state chartered savings associations, etc.), and allow a view of either the landscape of total assets or total deposits, both common measures of bank size.
Top 5 banks in-sector and cross-sector concentration
Map & Data Resources
By scrolling through the period using the built-in “year slider,” significant change over time becomes easily visible. The bar chart shows that, in 5 of 6 sectors, the top 5 banks (measured either by assets or deposits) have dramatically increased their in-sector dominance. That is, when the aggregate assets or deposits of the top 5 in a sector are measured as a percentage of the aggregate assets or deposits of the top 20 in that sector, the percentage has risen over time. The same is true when measuring the top 5 as against the top 50 in a sector, or as against all banks in the sector.
The biggest federally chartered commercial banks have especially increased their dominance in their sector: in 1992, the assets or deposits held by the top 5 banks as a percentage of the aggregate holdings of all banks in the sector was less than 23 percent; in 2009, that number had risen to 65 percent.
Looking across sectors, the pie chart demonstrates that total assets of the top 5 federally chartered commercial banks measured as a percentage of the aggregated assets of the top 5 banks in all 6 sectors jumped from 45 percent to 78 percent in the period from 1992 to 2009.
Most of that increased dominance by the top 5 federally chartered commercial banks came at the expense of the top 5 state chartered commercial banks supervised by the Federal Reserve (the only sector that was the exception to the general pattern of top 5 banks increasing in-sector dominance).
Top 5 banks by assets or deposits
Map & Data Resources
The top 5 banks by sector and by assets or deposits charts provide individual bank data. Specifically, amounts of the holdings of each of the top 5 banks in each sector in each year from 1992 to 2009 (in both assets and deposits) are presented. By selecting federally chartered commercial banks, for example, and sliding (or using the arrows) to move through time, one sees that the same five banks (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia) have been the top 5 since 2004. We also see that the top bank in 1992 (Citibank) had $164 billion in assets, while in 2009, the top bank (JP Morgan Chase) had more than $1.6 trillion. Had the growth simply tracked the buying power of 1992 dollars, the raw number in 2009 would have been approximately 50 to 55 percent higher than 1992’s $164 billion, not 1,000 percent higher.
Editor’s note: Remapping Debate welcomes suggestions both on how to improve our map and data visualizations and on policy debates that would benefit from increased access to easily-visualized data.
There are a host of patterns and trends that can be ascertained from the data tools; among these are changes that correspond to large-scale mergers or bank failures. For example:
- in top 5 banks by sector and by assets or deposits, one observes that, from 1992 to 1995, Chemical Bank was the leading state chartered commercial bank supervised by the Federal Reserve. After Chemical’s merger with Chase Manhattan in 1995, Chase Manhattan took Chemical’s place at the top of the list. Chase remained there until 2001, when it merged with JP Morgan. The resulting company — JP Morgan Chase Bank — led the sector by a wide margin until 2004. At that time, JP Morgan Chase bought Bank One, a federally chartered commercial bank. The merged entity (“JPMorgan Chase”) thereafter operated as a federally chartered commercial bank and became the top bank in that sector.
- the pie chart reflects the change in JP Morgan Chase’s sector. From 2003 to 2004, the aggregate assets of the top 5 state chartered commercial banks supervised by the Federal Reserve fell from more than 26 percent to less than 10 percent of the aggregate assets of the top 5 banks across all sectors; the corresponding percentage for the top 5 federally chartered commercial banks grew from 53 percent to 70 percent.
Washington Mutual’s demise is represented in both its presence and absence from the charts.
- The top 5 banks by sector and by assets or deposits charts allow for a view of savings associations supervised by the Office of Thrift Supervision. Washington Mutual led the pack by a wide margin from 1997 to 2007. Then it disappears from the chart, the biggest bank failure in history at that time.
- The in-sector and cross-sector concentration over time charts show that, from 2007 to 2008, the assets held by the top 5 savings associations supervised by the Office of Thrift Supervision fell from 9% to 5%.